FRAMINGHAM 8 FEBRUARY 2011 - It's hard to fathom why Cisco hasn't added IPv6 to its Linksys consumer routers yet, but the company has promised support will come this spring.
It's 2011, IPv4 addresses are officially exhausted, and the world's largest router maker, Cisco, still doesn't support IPv6 in its best-selling line of Linksys wireless routers. This is true even for the new E4200 router released just last month (priced at $180). The company has promised to have IPv6 support for the Linksys line by the spring but has not been any more specific.
The networking world has been aware of the IPv4 address shortage for years. Cisco's competitors D-Link and Netgear, for instance, have been offering certified IPv6 consumer routers for a while.
Cisco's enterprise routers support IPv6 (naturally) and have also been certified by the IPv6 Forum. Cisco has been involved in World IPv6 Day trials and last year even began eating its own IPv6 dog food, serving IPv6 content via its Web site www.ipv6.cisco.com. PC clients have had IPv6 support as an optional add-in since Windows XP SP2 and by default since Vista. Mac OS has supported IPv6 since 2004.
Network World contacted Cisco and asked for more information on Cisco's plans for its consumer routers. We asked, if "plans to support IPv6 in the spring," meant that people who buy new routers now will be able to get an upgrade that adds IPv6? If so, we wanted to know if that upgrade would be free, or how much it would cost.
Cisco did not address those questions, but offered this official statement:
"IPv6 is foundational to the next-generation Internet, enabling a range of new services and improved user experiences. As ISPs begin rolling out IPv6 service to their customers, consumers will need new routers and gateways that support IPv6 to participate in this next generation Internet."
"Later this spring, Cisco will begin enabling IPv6 across its consumer line of routers including the Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band Wireless-N Router. It is critical that consumers begin looking for products and devices that support IPv6."
"Cisco has been and will continue to be a leader in the development of IPv6 so consumers can feel confident that products from Cisco will provide top-line performance now as well as providing a foundation for the future."
After reading the statement we asked Cisco if the words "consumers will need new routers and gateways that support IPv6" meant that Cisco will require its customers to buy new routers with IPv6 support when those routers become available.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.