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Do We Need IPv4 at Home/SOHO Any More?

Short answer: No!

CLAT/NAT64 is utilized across many mobile networks globally, and I am only talking about Ethernet and Wi-Fi in home and small office/home office (SOHO) environments.

I experimented by completely disabling IPv4 at home and established a SSID where my MacBook Pro operates without an actual IPv4 address. The MacBook supports CLAT (RFC 6877), and by implementing PREF64 (RFC 8781) and DHCP Option 108 (RFC 8925) in my network, I was able to achieve a 100% IPv6 environment.

However, a 100% IPv6 network without IPv4 isn’t fully feasible yet so to help with this, I use Unbound for DNS64 and a Jool instance for NAT64.

To ensure minimal disruption at home, I gradually moved our Apple TVs and other devices to this SSID. Disturbances at home can be quite disruptive. :)

Is it working well?

Yes!

Everything in my home and home office operates flawlessly at 100% capacity. This includes even the most stubborn IPv4-only VPN software on the virtual workstations in my home office. Since I use virtual machines for my work and customers’ VPNs, the virtual machines are using NAT44 -> CLAT interface in my Macbook -> IPv6 ->NAT64.

Despite many potential points of failure, the system works.

My home setup is straightforward: my home router is configured only with PREF64 and Option 108 (colored orange for home and green for ISP level), and any additional adjustments can be managed at the ISP level. If your firewall supports NAT64, you can often manage everything as shown in the diagram below. The PREF64 prefix is a globally routed GUA /96.

What is everyone waiting for before this becomes universal?

Windows 11 is expected to introduce CLAT support for Ethernet and Wi-Fi in a future update. While Windows and other hosts can manage with just NAT64, CLAT significantly improves the local IPv4 connection to external IPv4 services.

However, in Sweden, where I live, only 32% (according to Google statistics) of the network is IPv6 capable—we must wait. Meanwhile, countries like Germany, France, and India, with over 70% IPv6 penetration, might see ISPs adopting NAT64-as-a-Service soon.

Comparing this setup with a dual-stack NAT44 at home (and possibly CGNAT/NAT444 from the ISP), I get a little more latency with NAT64 compared to local NAT44.

But if my ISP employs CGNAT, there’s no notable difference, and it may even result in lower latency.

If I shut down my work and compare the IPv6/IPv4 usage, the IPv6 is about 80-90% of the total traffic, so why bother with local IPv4?

By Torbjörn Eklöv, Senior Network Architect, DNSSEC/IPv6

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