Saturday, March 16, 2013

IPv6: What it means to You

     The internet has just about run out of addresses! Who would have believed that could happen (& so Quickly!)? Certinly not the original  engineers; they thought 4.2 Billion addresses were plenty, back in the days when Very Few folks had home computers. The current Internet Address Protocol is named IPv4. Many of you are familar with it as it is the string of numbers, seperated by a dot (Period) Example: These could route you to Any site on the Internet, regardless if you knew the actual name of the site or not.

     Worldwide work has been done to come up with a Working solution and that solution is IPv6 which can provide (and I warn you, I have yet to look up the exact name for this number) 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 addresses! If anyone wants to let me/us know what that number is exactly named, please feel free to leave a comment! In the Absence of a name, I will just refer to it as: A Whole Lot! (see what I just did there?)

     The main difference you will notice is that 1- A Colon(:) is used between numbers, 2-A long string of Zeros can be shortened by a Double Colon(::) For example: This is what a complete IPv6 address would look like, if written out:  2001:0DB8:0000:0003:0000:01FF:0000:002E  (really Un-Wieldy!) Instead it can be notated as: 2001:DB8::3:0:1FF:0:2E or 2001:DB8:0:3:0:1FF::2E It's a Math type of notation, allowing for more concise addressing.

     The Big Question you're asking yourself is: Why the hell do I need to know Any of this? Simply put, you need to know it because it is the future of computing! All providers of the content on the Internet are Going to use this new system! Unix, Linux, MAC & Windows are already there! Right now IPv4 & IPv6 are most commonly used in something caled a Dual Stack,(depending on ISP availability) coexisting on the same connection. The Bad News is that they are Not Compatable! Eventually, you will Need to know how to Navigate this! The Good News is that there IS information out there you can use to access, use, establish a IPv6 connection so you won't be the Last Kid on the Block! As my former union president was Well Known for saying: Change is a Process, Not an Event!

     If you are interested, go to that's the site for Hurricane Electric, a leader in this field. You can find anything you need to know about IPv6 there! If you have any comments, please leave them below. Thanks!

No comments: