You’ve almost certainly heard over the last few weeks that the Internet will soon be going through a big change. The change you’ve been hearing about is the transition to IPv6, which many people are still puzzled by. Read on for an explanation of IPv6 and what it could mean for you.
What it is
IPv6 is the latest version of IP, or Internet Protocol, which is the method by which data is transmitted over the Internet. IPv4 is the version of IP that has been used up until now, but it is running out of addresses. This is where IPv6 comes into play.
The previous version of IP, IPv4, used 32-bit addresses, which allowed for a total of 4 billion unique addresses. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, making it possible to create many more unique addresses.
How the transition may affect you
Most likely, you will experience most of your problems with IPv6, if any, during the initial migration from IPv4. The potential problems will likely depend on the browser you use and the Web server that is hosting the domain you wish to access. Some potential issues 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 the potential for problems, many people agree that you will most likely still be able to view any site if you are using IPv6.
How to avoid IPv6-related problems
Fortunately, if you are concerned about problems you might come across during the transition, there are a few resources designed to help you out. http://omgipv6day.com/ and http://test-ipv6.com/ are two websites that will alert you if you are likely to see any problems due to the IPv6 transition.
Overall, IPv6 will be a much-needed change that will allow for a greater volume of information and activity on the Internet. For more information on IPv6 and the transition, take a look at this article.