How To Enable/Disable IPv6 Security in Windows 10, MacOS and Linux 2021 February | #linux | #linuxsecurity


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The How To Enable/Disable IPv6 Security in Windows 10, MacOS and Linux

If you are having network problems, IPv6 can often be the cause, especially on Windows. While the network addressing scheme has been released and is ready for use, some programs and parts of the operating system are still having issues with it. If you want to learn how to disable IPv6 as part of troubleshooting or because you don’t need it yet, this tutorial is for you.

IPv6 was introduced to address the shortage of IPv4 addresses. With the rise of the Internet of Things and the increase in the number of connected devices, the old scheme did not generate enough unique addresses to keep them all connected. IPv6 has been touted as the answer.

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IPv4 vs. IPv6

IPv4 has a pool of 4,294,967,296 addresses and we are already on the verge of exhausting them. Not all of them are used as some have been acquired and kept in reserve, but the end is certainly near.

IPv6 has a pool of 340 282 366 920 938 463 463 374 607 431 768 211 456 addresses. It’s 2128. However, IANA, the people behind managing the IP addressing will not be posting all of this at once. Also, all valid IPv6 addresses will start with 2 or 3. So the actual number of valid IPv6 addresses is actually 2125. Still quite a large number.

At the time of publication, the vast majority of ISPs and networks are still using IPv4. Most new network hardware is IPv6 compatible, but not everything is. Windows isn’t fully compatible either because it always thinks that a semicolon in an IPv6 address refers to a disk drive, so we’re not there yet!

Until it’s time to replace IPv4 with IPv6 and until Windows is fully compatible with it, you can safely turn it off. Here’s how.

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Disable IPv6 on Windows

While you can just uncheck the IPv6 option in Network Connections in Windows, this is not how to disable it properly. This can cause a five second delay on startup because Windows sets the correct registry setting. The best way to turn off IPv6 in Windows is to edit the registry.

  1. Type or paste ‘regedit’ in the Search Windows / Cortana box and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, SYSTEM, CurrentControlSet, Services, tcpip6 and Parameters’.
  3. Right-click Settings in the left pane and select New, DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  4. Name it “DisabledComponents”.
  5. Right click on DisabledComponents and select Modify.
  6. Change the value to “FF” and click OK.

Reboot for the changes to take effect. You can also visit this page on the Microsoft website which has a registry download to do all of the work for you.

How to disable IPv63

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Disable IPv6 in OS X

OS X doesn’t have the compatibility issue that Windows has but still doesn’t use IPv6. If you’d rather keep it simple or troubleshoot network issues, here’s how to disable IPv6 in OS X.

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Go to Applications, Utilities, and Terminal.
  3. Type or paste ‘networksetup -setv6off Ethernet && networksetup -setv6off Wi-Fi’ and press Enter.

Be aware, however, that if you’re using AirDrop, disabling IPv6 will prevent it from working properly, so put it back to automatic mode if you troubleshoot.

Type or paste ‘networksetup -setv6automatic Wi-Fi && networksetup -setv6automatic Ethernet’ and press Enter in the terminal to re-enable IPv6.

You can use the user interface if you prefer.

  1. Go to the Apple menu.
  2. Select System and Network Preferences
  3. Select Ethernet then Advanced.
  4. Select Configure IPv6 and set it to Off
  5. Repeat for Wi-Fi.
  6. Restart your computer.

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Disable IPv6 on Linux

As you might expect, Linux works well with IPv6 but not all hardware. If you are troubleshooting network problems on a Linux network, disabling IPv6 is certainly a useful step in isolating what is wrong.

  1. Open a terminal window and log in as root.
  2. Type or paste ‘sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1’ and press Enter.
  3. Type or paste ‘sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1’ and press Enter.

You can use ‘sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 0’ and ‘sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 0’ to activate it once you are ready.

If you are using Debian, the process differs slightly.

  1. Open a terminal window and log in as root.
  2. Type or paste “sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf” and press Enter.
  3. Add ‘net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1’ and ‘net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1’ and ‘net.ipv6.conf.lo.disable_ipv6 = 1’ as three lines at the bottom of conf file .
  4. Save and exit
  5. Restart your computer.

Unless you are having network issues, running IPv6 should not impact your computer or your network speed. If not needed, IPv6 is not yet in use. However, if you are running Windows or older network hardware, it is definitely worth a try as part of normal troubleshooting.

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