For most of the network engineers, BGP is one of the routing technologies that you can find difficult to have real-world experience especially if you are a fresher! For me, BGP has always been on top of my interest list. However, for my home lab, I had used ipv6 using tunnel brokers like Hurricane Electric and Tunnelbroker.ch. With bgp we can have complete routing autonomy over our own network, more like being your own ISP. As my isp Alliance Broadband is an ipv4 only ISP and only peers with enterprise customers. So I and my friend Dipan decided to get an ASN and ipv6 pools from an RIR via an LIR. I needed BGP for experiments and learning while my friend Dipan needed lots of global IP addresses for his home virtualization lab.
As students our primary concern was to get the cheapest deal for AS number and ipv6 pool leasing. From this very useful spreadsheet link bgp.services I found freerangecloud.com an LIR for RIPE to offer ASN @ $20 for setup and yearly $10/year. We also got a /48 ipv6 pool for $5/year. Chris from freerangecloud was very helpful in getting us the ASN and all related documents. He answered to all our queries quickly. Within 72 hours of our documentation submission we got our ASN and our leased ipv6 pool.
Next step was to get an upstream for our ASN. Originally I had planned to peer with Hurricane Electric over their free BGP tunnels. However, we had received the ASN on 23rd May, 2020. A day after Hurricane Electric had stopped their free BGP tunnel service due to abuse activities. I then found out other free tunnel services like freetransit.ch, tunnelbroker.ch and netassist. Unfortunately we don’t have any free tunnelbrokers that offer BGP in APAC region. Thus latency has been a factor. We have round trip times of 155ms upto tunnel. Most major networks have delay of 170ms from my home in Kolkata.
Finally this month to combat the latency issue we got a VPS on vultr singapore as they provide BGP for free with every VPS they offer. This has almost halved the latency we used to have, significantly improving the browsing experience. I would like to thank Varun Pirolkar for helping me with a lot of questions I had regarding object creation in RIPE database.