You’ve most likely heard over the last few weeks that the Internet will soon be experiencing a big transformation. The change you’ve been hearing about is the transition to IPv6, which many people are still unclear about. Read on for an explanation of IPv6 and what it could mean for you.
What it is
IPv6 is the newest version of IP, or Internet Protocol, which is the method by which data is sent over the Internet. IPv4 is the version of IP that has been used up until this point, but it is running out of addresses. This is where IPv6 comes into play.
IPv6 enables additional addresses by using longer number sequences, which allows for a greater number of unique combinations (IPv4 used 32-bit addresses, where IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses). Today is World IPv6 Day, which marks the initial transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
How the transition may affect you
Most likely, you will encounter 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 using 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 possible hiccups, many people agree that you are unlikely to experience significant problems during the transition.
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.
Although the transition to IPv6 may be confusing at first, it likely won’t cause too many major problems. For more insight into the IPv6 change, check out this PCWorld article.