For a long while now it has been known that IPv4 will run out of available publicly assignable IP addresses. IPv4 address are 32 bits wide and quite simply can’t cope with the demand of the modern world – despite NAT’ing. IPv6 looks to resolve this by have not only more digits, but also using hexadecimal.
For example, an IPv4 address looks like this
192 . 168 . 0 . 1
4 parts each running from 0 – 255.
Now lets look at Facebook IPv6 record:
2a03 : 2880 : 2110 : df07 : face : b00c : 0 : 1
Now that’s 8 blocks, each one being 4 hexadecimals – so that’s 0 – 9 then a – f (so 16), so that’s 16 x 16 x 16 x 16 – so 65,536 in a block vs IPv4 255, and there are 8 blocks… that’s 128 bits, starting to see how massive the IPv6 range is?
Because of the massive IP range, you in effect get to bypass the IPv4 tax – in fact Mythic-Beasts has already started offering IPv6 only servers without the IPv4 tax. That’s not the only thing, NAT becomes obsolete which means gaming on the XBOX One becomes faster as you don’t have to setup port forwarding and put extra load on your router – also new Microsoft devices (Windows PCs and XBOX One) have a preference for IPv6 over IPv4, this could be because IPv6 has cleaner routing? IPv6 has been designed for the future, security has been account for and isn’t just tacked on.
When is IPv6 coming out? Well, it’s actually out, and it’s been out for a long while. RIPE, who are responsible for issuing IP addresses (both IPv4 and IPv6) in Europe has been doing it since 1999 and World IPv6 Day was back in 2011.
So, are you IPv6 ready?
You can check if your ISP has setup IPv6 so you can access those IPv6 servers from your computer by going to: http://test-ipv6.com/
And you can check if your website is IPv6 ready by going to: https://www.mythic-beasts.com/ipv6/health-check
I’m guessing the answer is no.
Thankfully, you’re not alone, but it’s something to think about, especially as all the major ISP in the UK are gearing up – http://blog.mythic-beasts.com/2014/10/22/ipv6-support-in-the-uk/ and http://www.ipv6.org.uk/2014/11/20/ipv6-council-meeting-oct2014/