Home internet service IPv6 traffic is all filtered even when using a Netgear LTE router. No port forwarding. Plz fix!

  • 22 January 2021
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My background is in IT / networking and I started using Tmo Home Internet for the past 2 weeks. The router being shipped today to customers is missing very important features for power users - it actually broke my ability to remotely access my home via direct-connection using public IPv6 and IPv4 that I used on comcast. 

Contacting support for help is pretty much useless, although I have raised a few tickets regarding the major issues affecting me since switching ISPs, namely:

  • Unable to ping my IPv6 WAN address given by T-mobile (to remotely monitor my internet connection)
  • Unable to remotely access my home via my VPN server which listens to connections on the WAN IPv6 address (again, T-mobile is filtering ALL my incoming traffic - comcast, att fiber, other major players in the market don’t do this filtering to endpoints except for spam port 25)
  • Connecting to a VPN server hosted on the internet is unreliable and unstable.
  • T-mobile does not offer IPv6 Prefix Delegation (comcast has it, att fiber does too)

I’ve spent the majority of my time trying to figure out ways to make this work. Most folks out there are blaming the Nokia router firmware which is really locked down by T-mobile, so being the IT engineer I pretend to be I purchased a Netgear LAX20 which is T-mobile and AT&T certified - I swapped SIMs for my Home internet service and tested both.

 

Even with a router that I fully control, with firewall disabled and allowing WAN icmp/ping responses T-mobile seems to continue to filter traffic (even pings!) incoming towards my service equipment… to make a fair comparison I got an AT&T SIM card and repeated the tests. On AT&T I can ping and access my device remotely when it is on the AT&T LTE network on the same Netgear LAX20. 

 

Decided to post here to vent and share some findings, as this is somewhat frustrating that other LTE carriers that do not offer ‘home internet’ service do allow you to control and manage your network as you see fit while the new “home internet” service does not give you any control at all. Those users who wish to be able to remotely manage their smart home should perhaps stay away for now until T-mobile decides to do the right thing which is for “home internet” service subscribers to have different security network rules than cellphones on the network.


T-mobile please fix your business model for this new service, starting with adding the ability to request zero network filtering for home internet subscribers and the ability to get IPv6 prefix delegated.


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This post I found seems related and comments have been disabled. (link below) I have had my gateway for three days now and just attempting the gateway settings and noticed port forwarding is missing. It looks like this has been an issue for some time and there are no plans to address it. So we were sold home internet, but got a wifi hotspot. I am sad that my only option now is to return the unit to T-Mobile and pay triple what T-Mobile was offering to get the same speeds with Cox. :-(

 

T-Mobile is an IPv6 network.  Port forwarding is for ipv4 networks.  So, its unlikely you will ever have port forwarding.  For ipv6, right now T-Mobile blocks all unsolicited inbound traffic.  This may be a global network configuration or it may be on the gateway.  At any rate, there is no inbound traffic allowed at this time.  If you need a work around, you can connect up your own router to the gateway and use a VPN service for about $5.00 a month.

 

What a dumpster fire. No Ipv6 or Ipv4. Might as well call this one way internet. This breaks multiple internet standards and expectations for an internet provider. Ipv4 is still crucial in 2021. Borking Ipv6 is not acceptable. 

This post I found seems related and comments have been disabled. (link below) I have had my gateway for three days now and just attempting the gateway settings and noticed port forwarding is missing. It looks like this has been an issue for some time and there are no plans to address it. So we were sold home internet, but got a wifi hotspot. I am sad that my only option now is to return the unit to T-Mobile and pay triple what T-Mobile was offering to get the same speeds with Cox. :-(

 

T-Mobile is an IPv6 network.  Port forwarding is for ipv4 networks.  So, its unlikely you will ever have port forwarding.  For ipv6, right now T-Mobile blocks all unsolicited inbound traffic.  This may be a global network configuration or it may be on the gateway.  At any rate, there is no inbound traffic allowed at this time.  If you need a work around, you can connect up your own router to the gateway and use a VPN service for about $5.00 a month.

 

What a dumpster fire. No Ipv6 or Ipv4. Might as well call this one way internet. This breaks multiple internet standards and expectations for an internet provider. Ipv4 is still crucial in 2021. Borking Ipv6 is not acceptable. 

Well, I don’t know about internet standards and expectations for iPv4 since we have been out of ipv4 address for years now.  Due to this fact, T-Mobile made the smart decision to switch to IPv6 several years ago.  After all, with no more ipv4 addresses available, what choice did they have?  At any rate, the lack of ipv4 isn’t really the problem.  The problem is not being able to manage inbound traffic under IPv6.  If that is a problem for you, there are work arounds until T-Mobile allows this functionality on TMHI.  Another option is to use Calyx.  Calyx uses the T-Mobile network and the T-Mobile MiFi M2000 and it allows inbound IPv6 traffic.

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I don’t want a wifi hotspot I need “home internet” as this is sold. There is no real solution, only finnicky hacky workarounds such as VPN. Tmobile could have used Ipv4 if they wanted that is not even a question. Not supporting ipv4 breaks many critical components of the internet. 

I don’t want a wifi hotspot I need “home internet” as this is sold. There is no real solution, only finnicky hacky workarounds such as VPN. Tmobile could have used Ipv4 if they wanted that is not even a question. Not supporting ipv4 breaks many critical components of the internet. 

I’m not how you know Tmobile could have used ipv4.  T-Mobile stopped using ipv4 on its network years ago.  Spending the time and money to bring ipv4 back just for home internet customers probably didn’t make sense.  Also, since the global internet is out of ipv4 addresses, I’m not sure where you think T-Mobile will be getting these ipv4 addresses to hand out to each customer.  IPv4 still works with T-Moblie.  It just cannot be used for inbound traffic.

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You can still buy/rent IPV4 space. If Tmobile has that defeatist attitude this service wont sell well…. 

You can still buy/rent IPV4 space. If Tmobile has that defeatist attitude this service wont sell well…. 

Maybe it won’t.  Maybe they are counting on there being enough customers who don’t need inbound connectivity.  Who knows.  So far, they are on track with their home internet additions for the year.  For me, I’m saving $720 a year with better speed.  I don’t care about having to use a VPN to fix the inbound connection issue especially since, even with the VPN, that traffic is faster than what it was before.  I agree:  Its not ideal.  But its a better solution than what I had with Comcast.

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IDK about that angle of them not having/not able to use IPV4.

A Basic dig on their ASN's shows they have a crap ton of IPV4 registered.  Over 12 million on just ONE of their USA ID's (AS21928).  Granted, some (like AS393494, that appears to be tied to TVision) only have 60-70k... but who is to say how much is actively in use, and how much could be repurposed?

But they DO in fact have and use IPv4.  The question is why is it not implemented for home internet instead of the screwy XLAT464 crap.

 

IDK about that angle of them not having/not able to use IPV4.

A Basic dig on their ASN's shows they have a crap ton of IPV4 registered.  Over 12 million on just ONE of their USA ID's (AS21928).  Granted, some (like AS393494, that appears to be tied to TVision) only have 60-70k... but who is to say how much is actively in use, and how much could be repurposed?

But they DO in fact have and use IPv4.  The question is why is it not implemented for home internet instead of the screwy XLAT464 crap.

 

Who knows why they still own these subnets.  Owning them, however, doesn’t mean T-Mobile isn’t an IPv6 network.  Indeed they are.  They completed the transition years ago.  XLAT464 is of course used for compatibility with IPv4.  Some of these IP’s are needed for that.  At any rate, let's just say they would make the decision to switch back to IPv4, these block’s of IP’s wouldn’t come close to the number of IP’s needed to support IPv4 for all the devices on their network.   And the problem only gets worse as their network grows.

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Well that's tough cookies cuz that is what it's like to be a home internet provider in 2021. I wish I had somone who would come up with excuses for me everytime I mad poor choices at work.

Well that's tough cookies cuz that is what it's like to be a home internet provider in 2021. I wish I had somone who would come up with excuses for me everytime I mad poor choices at work.

I’m not making excuses.  I’m just stating the reality of running out of IPv4 addresses.  I’m sorry you don’t like reality.  Being on an IPv6 network shouldn’t be a problem.  However, if your real concern is you cannot have inbound connections, that I understand.  Its a brand new service.  Hopefully, T-Mobile is listening and working on that.  In the meantime, there are workarounds.  If you don’t want to use the workarounds until T-Mobile allows more flexibility, I would suggest you use another service until T-Mobile does.

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@Locutus

Not sure you caught all that was posted in there.

I ran a generic search on a specific name (T-Mobile USA), which returned like a dozen unique ASN's.

That in no way encompasses the entirety of their organization's provisioned addresses.

Remember, they also just picked up all those Sprint assets as well, which also has over a dozen ASN's provisioned.

 

Just ONE ASN had over 12million v4 IP's reserved…

...as in provisioned for their exclusive use.

 

How many are actively in use, and how many could be repurposed is an important question.

For example, what if they flipped the script on fully functional cell over to home internet provisioning?  Put all the cell/hotspots into the new funky and restrictive XLAT/CGN layer, and give all the vacated fully functional IP's to home internet.

Think about this for a moment…

Why is it sooo important to reserve all that super high speed bandwidth and port traversal capability for those mobile devices, as opposed to the home internet users?  What is the rational for prioritizing north of 100-200mbps down and 20mbps up as well as a properly functioning network model for mostly single user device cell usage while denying such important things to HOME NETWORKS?

 

They very well COULD have set this up properly…

...but for whatever reason, they CHOSE to set it up this way.

 

They didn't HAVE too.

@Locutus

Not sure you caught all that was posted in there.

I ran a generic search on a specific name (T-Mobile USA), which returned like a dozen unique ASN's.

That why no way encompasses the entirety of their organization's provisioned addresses.

Remember, they also just picked up all those Sprint assets as well, which also has over a dozen ASN's provisioned.

 

Just ONE ASN had over 12million v4 IP's reserved…

...as in provisioned for their exclusive use.

 

How many are actively in use, and how many could be repurposed is an important question.

For example, what if they flipped the scriotnonncell and home internet provisioning?  Put all the cell/hotspots into the funky XLAT/CGN layer, and give all the vacated IP's to home internet.

Think about this for a moment…

Why is it sooo important to reserve all that super high speed bandwidth and port traversal capability for those mobile devices, as opposed to the home internet users?  What is the rational for prioritizing north of 100-200mbps down and 20mbps up as well as a properly functioning network model for mostly single user device cell usage while denying such important things to a home NETWORK.

 

They very well COULD have set this up properly…

...but for whatever reason, they CHOSE to set it up this way.

 

They didn't HAVE too.

But they DO have to.  They all HAVE to.  T-Mobile put the money and time into switching to IPv6 long before they rolled out home internet.  They didn’t do it just for fun.  After doing so, when it came to home internet, I imagine their thoughts were:  Everyone has to switch to IPv6.  We are already where we need to be.  Why do we want to roll back to IPv4 while our competitors.are still trying to switch their networks over to IPv6.  In my opinion, the fact T-Mobile was able to switch IPv6 earlier than most, shows them as a leader.  Since they have, most of my traffic is IPv6.  And, like I said, please excuse me if I am assuming here, I don’t think your complaint is about IPv6.  Your complaint is about not having inbound connectivity.  And I agree with that complaint.  But that is a different issue IPv6 or not.

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Just got home and pulled up the ASN info on my TMO HI.

It is the AS21928 ID I looked at earlier from work…

... the one with 12, 671, 488 v4 IP's assigned.

This particular 172.58.0.0/21 subnet has been reserved/announced since 2016 (was 172.58.0.0/15 for about 10 months beforehand).

So no... they didn't exactly become a V6 only network.

They have been maintaining active v4 IP's for quite a while...  this particular subnet since 20160825.  The history here dates back into 2012, where it notes a different subnet described as internet backbone.

Their TRANSIT may have moved over to v6... but they have maintained their v4 assignments.

 

And yes, the gripe includes the inbound traffic.. but there is more to it.

The geo data assigned to my v4 addresses put me out of state... which monkeys up functionality for some services (sometimes Charlotte, other times Atlanta--I live in Florence, SC).  It is also monkeying with game traffic as well.

 

People have posted here those problems go away when going through their phones and/or hotspots. 

In other words... the v4 subnets the "normal" cell devices are using have more proper functionality.

So again... they are perfectly CAPABLE of a better dual-stack  implementation... but CHOSE otherwise.

Just got home and pulled up the ASN info on my TMO HI.

It is the AS21928 ID I looked at earlier from work…

... the one with 12, 671, 488 v4 IP's assigned.

This particular 172.58.0.0/21 subnet has been reserved/announced since 2016 (was 172.58.0.0/15 for about 10 months beforehand).

So no... they didn't exactly become a V6 only network.

They have been maintaining active v4 IP's for quite a while...  this particular subnet since 20160825.  The history here dates back into 2012, where it notes a different subnet described as internet backbone.

Their TRANSIT may have moved over to v6... but they have maintained their v4 assignments.

 

And yes, the gripe includes the inbound traffic.. but there is more to it.

The geo data assigned to my v4 addresses put me out of state... which monkeys up functionality for some services (sometimes Charlotte, other times Atlanta--I live in Florence, SC).  It is also monkeying with game traffic as well.

 

People have posted here those problems go away when going through their phones and/or hotspots. 

In other words... the v4 subnets the "normal" cell devices are using have more proper functionality.

So again... they are perfectly CAPABLE of a better dual-stack  implementation... but CHOSE otherwise.

I have had the same issue with the geolocation.  But, mine occurred on both ipv4 and ipv6.  And, it also occurred on my phone when its not connected to TMHI.  I called the number listed on the trashcan’s web interface and they fixed the problem for me on home internet .  I’m still a little off.  But it close enough now.

I agree their dual stack deployment could have been better and probably will get better.  Its likely still a work in progress.  Its also interesting DNS64 is used on the phone network while it isn’t on home internet.  I’m curious why thats different.

As far as inbound connectivity, hopefully thats coming.  I do not believe it is disallowed globally as others have said since Calyx customers on the MiFi are able to enable inbound IPv6 traffic,  Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like you can manage the traffic by port or address which is a security issue.  As such, if inbound traffic is ever allowed, I will probably always keep a personal router between the trashcan and my network.

I just want to use IPv6 passthrough (bridge mode) so I can connect my external router. I don’t need port forwarding or inbound access. I called before ordering the service and they told me this was possible — but I guess they lied.

Front-line support are mostly useless and don’t even know about double-NAT and why it is a problem for VOIP and many other apps.

Does T-Mobile have any real network engineers? It seems like the people on this forum are better qualified.

I just want to use IPv6 passthrough (bridge mode) so I can connect my external router. I don’t need port forwarding or inbound access. I called before ordering the service and they told me this was possible — but I guess they lied.

Front-line support are mostly useless and don’t even know about double-NAT and why it is a problem for VOIP and many other apps.

Does T-Mobile have any real network engineers? It seems like the people on this forum are better qualified.

IPv6 passthrough with your router should be working.  It does for me.  But, that’s a function of your router. If its not working, the issue is on the inside of your network.  Its not with the gateway.  But, if your VOIP service doesn’t support IPv6, using passthrough won’t help.  Also, I don’t have an issues with VOIP services.  In the past, I have heard of others having issues.   But, I do not.

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yeah... v6 passthrough "works" with my Asus.

Native/delegation appeared to work at first, but irt crapped out when I tried to run a v6 compliance test like 30 seconds later.

I say passthrough "works" more so because of client side issues then network issues.

DNS can be sluggish (at least in Windoze), causing your browsers to fall back to v4 lookups.  But if you are avoiding that screwy slow DNS fall back scenario (like on your phone), it works.

 

Just frustrating.  They should have known better.  Sometimes it feels like the DOCSIS beta days.  You can see there should be a better way to do things... but it just is not happening.

yeah... v6 passthrough "works" with my Asus.

Native/delegation appeared to work at first, but irt crapped out when I tried to run a v6 compliance test like 30 seconds later.

I say passthrough "works" more so because of client side issues then network issues.

DNS can be sluggish (at least in Windoze), causing your browsers to fall back to v4 lookups.  But if you are avoiding that screwy slow DNS fall back scenario (like on your phone), it works.

 

Just frustrating.  They should have known better.  Sometimes it feels like the DOCSIS beta days.  You can see there should be a better way to do things... but it just is not happening.

Phones on T-Mobile use DNS64. So, you will always get an IPv6 response and address from DNS on a phone.  This is not the case with TMHI.  You will only get an IPv6 address if there is a AAAA registration for the host.  For me, DNS is working properly with TMHI.  My clients use IPv6 for sites and services that support IPv6.  If I completely turn off IPv4 on a client, I still have connectivity to those sites and services.  I even tested using DNS64 servers and turned off IPv4 and I had no issues with apps or service except for the T-Mobile digits app.

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Oh I could run a v6 DNS query from the command line fine and all.

It was just too slow.

My phone got along with it just fine.  It was the Winblows and $ony platforms that didn't behave well.

By default, some browsers will fall back to a v4 query if the v6 takes too long.  I just didn't feel like farting around with them to figure out how to override or otherwise tweak the timeout limit for the query (not to mention Microsoft's screwy stuff).  Most everything I do is still reliant on v4 addressing and all, so wasn't up for the headache.

 

That is another part of the problem... way too many applications are not geared to use V6 properly yet.

 

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I just want to use IPv6 passthrough (bridge mode) so I can connect my external router. I don’t need port forwarding or inbound access. I called before ordering the service and they told me this was possible — but I guess they lied.​​​

 

It sounds to me like you want IPv6 delegation, not passthrough. In pass through your router behind theirs actually acts as a bridge. In delegation their router accepts dhcpv6 requests and then delegates subnets to your router. TMHI supports passthrough just fine, unfortunately they do not support delegation.  They want to bundle prefixes to simplify their network and that complicates delegation, though there are plenty of both standard and nonstandard solutions that work to fix that and aren’t even mutually incompatible. Ie they could implement both RFC 6603, prefix shortening and multi /64 prefix delegation all on the same device. All would solve the issue and none would interfere with each other.

I solved my specific problem, but it’s not a generic solution for all.  For those that are interested, here’s how I solved the double-NAT issue and got VOIP to work.

I got the TMHI trashcan gateway to use as a secondary WAN connection (my primary is Cox cable).  I’m using a Peplink Balance 20 router, which allows dual WAN connections.

Peplink also offers a service called SpeedFusion Cloud, which is basically a VPN.  However, it also offers advantages like WAN smoothing and the ability to selectively route your traffic over both WANs simultaneously.  This means you can pull the plug on one WAN and someone on a VOIP call won’t even notice a problem (I verified this by actually doing it).

Since SpeedFusion is an outgoing connection that is initiated by the router, it doesn’t care if it has a public IP.  It works fine with the private IP address assigned by the T-Mobile gateway.

This solution is a variation on using a VPN that others have mentioned.  The cost of the SpeedFusion cloud service is as low as $20 for six months of service.  Right now I’m only routing my VOIP traffic through it, since our VOIP service is critical and it is the only service that appears to be affected by double-NAT issues.  Also, it doesn’t make sense to pay for the extra bandwidth just to stream Netflix over a redundant connection.  However, it might make sense to route business-critical Zoom calls this way.

For anyone using a Peplink router, this might be a good solution. Now that I can split my traffic across two providers, I’m considering cutting the speed on my Cox service.  The cost savings by doing this will just about pay for the TMHI service and the small extra cost of the Speedfusion Cloud service.  This means I will have fully-redundant internet service for about the same cost as my original cable service.

The  original post is over a year old now.  Has T-mobile fixed the problem yet?  I have a 4g sim with a netgear modem.  I can confirm that incoming IPv4 ports are blocked and natted.  I have not tested IPv6. 

 

I have looked into VPNs. but the majority of them don’t allow port forwards, and the ones that do are cost prohibitive.  Cheaper just to stay with cable. 

 

My sim is prepaid, so if they haven’t gotten this working by the end of the billing cycle, I’m going to assume that they don’t possess the know-how or technology to provide competent internet service.

I am using a generic LTE modem here connected to T-Mobile as a PFSense backup connection.

This is a SOHO Wireless with Firewall AP with an RJ11 (phone jack), 4 network ports and WLAN.

LTE only.

Testing right now via WLAN direct to LTE modem and VPN works fine here.  IE:

1 - OpenVPN to another PFSense server

2 - IPSec VPN to same server

3 - Wireguard VPN via PIA from my laptop via LTE modem and only see an IPv4 address

I cannot bridge the WAN to the LAN port so PFSense connecting to LAN port.

If I do a “what is my IP” I see both an IP v4 and v6 address.

ISP: T-Mobile USA

City: Chicago

Region: Illinois

Country: United States

I am OK with it as it is even though I cannot bridge the WAN to the LAN.

PFSense T-Mobile connections specs are only OK on PFSense:

RTT: 58.9ms for T-Mobile  and 8.5ms for XFinity

RTTsd: 62.2ms for T-Mobile and 1.5ms for XFinity

No loss on either T-Mobile or XFinity.

Testing the modem with a battery last week connected to a second PFSense box it worked for more than 2 hours with no PS plugged in.

 

 

@ReblogI have been holding off with this observation and thought you might have some insight into the problem. I am responsible for posting documents/pictures, etc. from home to a remote server. Over the years I have used FTP to easily transfer these files. However, since I switched from a slow DSL connection to T-Mobile HI (ASKEY), I no longer can move the files. I used Windows 10 File Explorer in split screen mode (remote on one screen and local files on second) and simply clicked and dragged the files from one screen to the other. Now when I try to connect with T-Mobile HI, I get the following error message...any thoughts? I have permissions on the remote FTP server.

 

PASV is horribly implemented with Microsoft Windows.  It will say it’s in passive mode.  It will lie about being in passive mode.  Use a dedicated FTP client like FileZilla instead.

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