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BE Broadband UK Touts IPv6 and WiFi Improvements via Beta Firmware

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 (8:08 am) - Score 1,416

UK ISP BE Broadband (O2) has released a new beta firmware v10.2.2.9 for its Technicolor TG582n (BE Box v2) broadband router that adds a number of new features, including preliminary IPv6 support, greater access control over other network devices and automatic WiFi channel selection for an improved wireless signal.

According to the BE Usergroup, the IPv6 functionality is disabled by default but it could in theory allow the BEBox to host a tunnel. Indeed other ISPs, such as PlusNet that ship the same router to all new customers as standard, have also touted the 582n’s ability to support IPv6 via an RFC4213 6in4 tunnel.

In short this allows IPv6 traffic to be encapsulated in IPv4 packets, which gives the customer IPv6 support. The downside is that setting this up on a router isn’t for the faint of heart and it certainly helps if you have some technical knowledge. Apparently documentation to do this on BE may already exist, although you can get an idea of how it’s done by looking at PlusNet’s solution for the same kit (here).

The downside of a tunnel is that it can sometimes raise security concerns as related networks would have IPv6 traffic running over them that they can’t see because it’s disguised as IPv4 traffic, which means that the operator then requires IPv6 capable firewalls and related management tools (something an IPv4 network might not have).

The new router also includes a variety of bug fixes and a much needed Access Control feature, which allows customers to do things like turn off wifi at night or disable internet access for specific devices on the network. But it’s worth remembering that this is just a beta firmware.

UPDATE 12:40pm

Sadly BE has chosen to withdraw the beta from public access, although those whom enquire privately might still be in with a chance. In any case it’s usually best to wait for the release of final firmware, unless you know what you’re doing.

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