Friday, April 12, 2013

Comcast's Switch to IPv6 Causes Peplink Balance Router Issue

Since I started working at 3Gstore, I've been successfully using a Comcast Ubee modem along with a Peplink Balance 30 router. All has been working consistently and reliably for almost 2 years, until this past Monday (4/8/13) when I started having an issue with my Cisco IP phone. The thing that tipped me off was a problem with poor audio quality.

Of course, my first troubleshooting step was to just try power cycling the phone, the router and the modem. Upon powering everything back up, I noticed the Balance 30 was constantly sitting in a 'Connecting' state for several minutes - the connection usually takes no time at all. I scratched my head and thought perhaps my Comcast connection was down. Naturally, I took the modem and plugged it in directly to my Macbook Pro. Here's where things got interesting. The modem had no issue finding a connection, but I noticed it was receiving a private IP address and as I was getting ready to take a screenshot (just for reference), it quickly changed right before my eyes to a public IP along with a IPv6 address.

Here I thought this would be an easy fix since Peplink had added IPv6 support to their newer firmware. I logged back into my Balance 30, simply enabled IPv6, and tried to reconnect my Comcast modem. To my surprise, this had changed nothing - the router was still trying to establish a connection to the Comcast modem. I continued troubleshooting the issue by resetting the router to factory default settings, reflashed the latest firmware, and reloaded my saved configuration file - still no change.

At this point my frustration lead me to try connecting the modem in my Cradlepoint MBR95. Even though I don't recall Cradlepoint having mentioned anything recently about adding support for IPv6, I thought it would be an interesting test. Now, here comes the really interesting part - IT WORKED! In fact, it didn't take long to establish the connection at all and it's still working as we speak, 4 days later. The only thing is that's odd is that it appears to somehow be receiving an IPv4 address - or at least that's all it's able to show me.

My troubleshooting adventures are still ongoing, but I hope to get down to the bottom of this sooner than later. While I think the Cradlepoint is great, my Peplink Balance just performs so much better. The fact that I had to disable the MBR95's WiFi and reinstall my Access Point because the MBR95 was essentially cutting down my bandwidth (my download and upload speeds were horrible via my  cell phones and Pepwave Surf On the Go repeater), was a bit of a bummer. However, I have to give it kudos for getting my network back up and running!