What you should know about IP v.6

Jun 9, 2011


There has been a great deal of talk over the last few weeks about some big changes that are happening to the Internet: mainly, the transition to IPv6. Exactly what IPv6 means is still a mystery to most people. Luckily, we have a simple explanation that can help you to better understand it.

What it is

IPv6 is a version of IP (Internet Protocol) that has been created due to the previous version having a limited number of addresses. IP is the method by which data is sent over the Internet. Running out of addresses essentially means that new websites will no longer be able to be created.

IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses as opposed to the 32-bit addresses used by IPv4. The longer number strings allow for more addresses because there are a greater number of possible combinations.

How the transition may affect you

Most likely, some challenges will come about during the transition. Most problems you may run into will likely be related to the browser you’re using and/or the Web server of the site you wish to visit. Some potential problems include:

  • If you’re using IPv6 and you try to access an IPv4 site, you may receive a “404” error.
  • If you are on a network that only supports IPv4, you may not be able to access IPv6 sites – you can reconfigure your network in order to fix this.

Despite these minor problems, many people agree that you will most likely still be able to access any site.

How to avoid IPv6-related problems

There are a couple of resources that can warn you about any issues you may run into during the transition to IPv6. Websites like http://omgipv6day.com/ and http://test-ipv6.com/ will tell you if you will be able to access most sites. They will also tell you where your problems will stem from, if you experience any.

Although the transition to IPv6 may be confusing at first, it likely won’t cause too many major problems.

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