If you’re being troubled with the ‘IPv6 Connectivity: No Network Access’ error, you may even be asking, what is IPv6? And why is it preventing you from connecting to the internet?
IPv6 is a network layer protocol that assigns your IP address. If you’re being troubled with the ‘IPv6 Connectivity: No Network Access’ error, you’ll need to address this error before your computer can connect to the internet.
This guide walks you through all the basics of IPv6, what causes this error, and how to fix it and restore your internet connection.
What is IPv6?
IPv6 stands for Internet Protocol Version 6. IPv6 is the sixth version of the Internet Protocol and is intended to replace IPv4. More specifically, an internet protocol is a network layer protocol that handles packet routing to network device addresses.
You probably already know what network device addresses are, you just know them as IP addresses. IPv6 works in conjunction with TCP(Transmission Control Protocol). TCP checks for a stable connection between two IP addresses and then transfers data packets in the correct order.
IPv6 and IPv4 are both responsible for IP address assignments. When your computer connects to your internet service provider (ISP), it is assigned a numerical IP address. When data is sent across the internet, the packet will contain the IP address of the outgoing device and the incoming device. Your IP address is unique to your computer and no other computer connected to the internet can have the same IP address.
IPV4 Won’t Last – 32-bit vs 128-bit IP Addresses
As more and more people started using the internet, it became clear that the IPv4 protocol wouldn’t provide an adequate number of IP addresses for the long term. IPv4 protocol addresses look familiar, taking the format 255.255.255.00. That is a 32-bit address and can provide 4.29 billion unique IP addresses.
Since this was understood to be too limiting to how many devices could be assigned a unique IP, as internet adoption has continued to ramp up, the need for a successor was decided way back in 1998. This successor is IPv6.
IPv6 differs because it uses 128-bit internet addresses. Your brain can’t comprehend how many unique IP addresses can be assigned using IPv6, it’s too large. 128-bit addresses have 340 trillion trillion trillion unique combinations. You are probably not as familiar with the IPv6 IP address format, but it looks like 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.
IPv6 – More Secure, More Support
There are other reasons for the transition away from IPv4 to IPv6, besides the IP address problem. IPv6 offers improved security, network address translation, mobile device support, and improved administrative workload.
As smartphone adoption continues to rise globally, IPv6 is strongly preferred because it allows mobile devices to keep the same IP address as they move from location to location. This improves the speed and usability of mobile networks.
What causes the ‘IPv6 Connectivity: No Network Access’ Error?
The ‘IPv6 Connectivity: No Network Access’ error is linked to a couple of known issues.
As soon as your device connects to the network, your device will receive an IPv6 address and an IPv4 address. Unfortunately, sometimes a device only receives an IPv4 address and not an IPv6 address. You can check if this is the problem, by opening your network connection details:
- Press the Windows key to open Windows Search and enter network connections into the search bar. Click Open.
- Within the Network Connections page, find your active connection. Right-click on it and select Status from the drop-down menu.
- Check to see if IPv6 is showing Internet access or not. In this case, the computer received an IPv4 address, but not an IPv6 address so there is no IPv6 Connectivity.
There are several reasons why this might occur. You may be troubled with this error if you have:
- Outdated Network Drivers – outdated network drivers cause a host of issues, update them in Device Manager to fix
- HT Mode is Incorrect – HT mode is an advanced wireless adapter driver setting. If improperly configured, it can cause the IPv6 Connectivity error
- Firewall and Antivirus Blocking – Your antivirus or firewall may be blocking IPv6 from functioning as intended
Is it OK to Disable IPv6?
Disabling IPv6 is often recommended by troubleshooting guides when network issues are linked to it. But ISPs are already having major issues with IPv4 address assignment. This problem will grow significantly over the next few years, thus, more and more networks and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will move to support IPv6.
These network errors will get worked out and it will become less and less necessary to disable them. You can disable IPv6 if you can’t find a working solution to this or other IPv6 issues.
IPv6 may be disabled to resolve problems associated with:
- Name resolution – most routers are still configured to use IPv4, so IPv4 requests must be translated to IPv6
- ISP does not support IPv6– even major ISPs like AT&T, Xfinity, Verizon, and Spectrum are still working on adding better support and infrastructure for IPv6. If you use a small, localized, or regional ISP, this may be more of an issue.
- Connection issues – presenting as unstable or slower speeds
- VPN not working – VPN providers like NordVPN and Surfshark don’t support IPv6
- Software development – Docker, Linux, CentOS, etc
Disabling IPv6 is very common. While IPv6 has been around since 1998, adoption has been extremely slow. Even just 5 years ago, only 15% of users were accessing the internet over IPv6.
Microsoft recommends that Windows users should not disable IPv6. According to them, IPv6 is an integral part of Windows. When applications are developed for Windows, they are done so with IPv6. Instead, Microsoft suggests enabling ‘Prefer IPv4 over IPv6’.
Today IPv6 is widely used. It exists alongside a separate IPv4 network, meaning that both are functioning and you can use either one. If your ISP supports IPv6, your devices are being assigned both IPv4 32-bit IP addresses and IPv6 128-bit addresses.
Technically it’s okay to disable IPv6 but is no longer recommended unless absolutely necessary. In case you were left with no other option but to disable the IPv6 on your device, then you must learn how to do it properly.
5 Solutions to Fix the ‘IPv6 Connectivity: No Network Access’ Error
1. Update Network Drivers
It’s always a good practice to check that your network drivers are updated. Outdated drivers caused a lot of weird issues that are completely avoidable. Thankfully it’s super easy to update your drivers, just follow these steps:
- Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager from the pop-up menu.
- Within the Device Manager window, expand the Network Adapters section. Right-click on your Adapter (there may be multiple you need to repeat this with) and select Update driver from the drop-down menu.
- When prompted, select Search automatically for updated driver software. Windows will take over and look for the latest update.
- After any driver updates are applied, restart your computer to make sure the changes are applied and check if the error persists.
2. Temporarily Disable Firewall and Antivirus Program
You can isolate if your antivirus program or Windows Firewall is causing the issues with IPv6 Connectivity, by temporarily disabling both:
- To get started first uninstall your Antivirus software. Click the Windows key or Start icon to open Windows Search. Enter Add or remove programs in the search bar and click Open.
- Search for your specific antivirus program and select Uninstall.
- Now disable Windows Firewall by searching for Windows Defender Firewall using the same method as step 1.
- On the left-hand side of the Windows Defender Firewall Window, select Turn Windows Defender Firewall on and off.
- Under Customize settings for each type of network, select Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall for Private network settings. Don’t turn off Windows Firewall for Public network settings unless absolutely necessary. You’ll be setting yourself up for cybersecurity attacks.
- Restart your computer to see if a connection using IPv6 has been established.
3. Change HT Mode
HT Mode is an advanced network adapter setting, that lets you choose to support High Throughput (802.11n) and Very High Throughput (802.11ac).
Follow these steps to change HT mode:
- Press the Windows key or the Start button and enter Control Panel into the search bar. Click to Open.
- In the Control Panel window under Network and Internet, click View network status and tasks. Note that the icons are different than the standard Windows icons in this image, but the text and layout are the same.
- Now look to the pane on the left-hand side of the Network and Sharing Center window. Select Change adapter settings.
- Right-click on the current Network Adapter and select Status from the dropdown menu.
- From the status window, select Properties. Then within the Properties window that opens, select Configure.
- Within the Adapter Properties window, click the Advanced tab. Find the HT Mode option and then click OK. Restart your computer to see if the IPv6 error was fixed.
4. Reset Winsock and TCP/IP
Using Administrative Privileges and Command Prompt, you can reset Winsock to try fixing IPv6 issues. Winsock is the primary Windows program that handles I/O requests for internet applications. It defines how Windows software should handle network services access.
To restart Winsock and TCP/IP:
- Press the Windows key or click the Start button to open Windows Search. Enter Command Prompt into the search bar and select Run as administrator.
- Type the following command and then press Enter to execute:
netsh winsock reset catalog
- Once the Winsock reset is complete, the output will read:
Successfully reset the Winsock Catalog.
You must restart the computer in order to complete the reset.
- Before restarting, type the next command and press:
Enter:netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log
- When this process is complete, restart your computer to see if the IPv6 No Network Access error is fixed.
5. Disable Window’s IP Helper Service
Windows comes with a service called IP Helper or Internet Protocol Helper. This service uses IPv6 transition tools to help your computer tunnel connectivity. Unfortunately, sometimes Windows services cause more issues than help. You can disable this service as an option to fix the IPv6 error:
- Press the Windows key + R. Within the Run window enter services.msc into the search bar and press OK.
- Within the Services window, scroll down through Window’s services until you find IP Helper.
- Double-click on IP Helper to open the IP Helper Properties window. Select the General tab if it isn’t already selected. Then find Startup type and click to open the drop-down menu.
- Select Disabled for the Startup type and then click Apply and OK.
- As always, restart your computer before verifying if the ‘IPv6 Connectivity: No Network Access’ error is fixed.
Solved: ‘IPv6 Connectivity: No Network Access’ Error Fixed
You’ve learned all about IPv6 and IPv4 and why IPv6 is replacing the older internet protocol version. IPv6 has historically caused lots of network issues, but most of the problems have been ironed out as adoption rates climb and Windows focuses on software with IPv6 functionality built in.
If your computer does not have IPv6 connectivity, 5 great solutions were presented in this guide that’s been known to solve this issue for many Windows users.
Ensure your network drivers are updated, temporarily disable your antivirus and Windows Firewall, change HT mode, reset Winsock and TCP/IP, and disable IP Helper. One of these options is sure to fix your no internet access error. If for some reason it doesn’t, you can always try disabling IPv6.