Happy IPv6 Day!June 6, 2012 1:25 pm ·
What is IPv6? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never heard of it. I certainly hadn’t heard of it until this morning when I started seeing articles about today, June 6th, being the official IPv6 launch.
So what exactly does IPv6 do?
The simple answer is that IPv6 creates new alpha-numeric internet addresses, known as an IP address. Right now(with IPv4) there are 4.3 billion addresses, which by last check, we ran out of last year. So, a new system was created to add 340 undecillion–basically trillions upon trillions of new IP addresses.
Why is IPv6 Day important?
Well every device that connects to the internet has an IP address. When you have more than one device on a network with the same IP address, you can be prevented from accessing the internet. You may have had experienced this on small home wireless networks, where you receive a message that another device is currently using the same IP address. More addresses mean more devices can connect to the internet.
Just about everything is connected. The obvious devices are computers, phones and tablets, but, now refrigerators, cars, washing machines, thermostats etc are connecting. Each one of these devices needs it’s own IP address to avoid conflict and properly transmit and receive information.
How will the IPv6 Day transition affect you?
It won’t–probably. There may still be some devices out there that do not support IPv6 addresses, but you can expect most of that to change in the next couple of months as the industry has to switch over to the new system. A few websites may start running slower or be down altogether if their servers do not support IPv6, but for those sites that are ready for the switch, you should see improved online video services, chat, gaming and e-commerce.
So, raise you phone, tablet, car keys, etc., to a better internet!