IPv6 The Wave of the Future Catch it now, before it’s too late.


It’s been a while since I posted here, but I wanted to touch on this subject.  Recently, I set up a new home network consisting of Cisco routers and switches.  In the process of setting it up, one of the people who helped me made the comment about going to http://www.he.net and getting an IPv6 Tunnel.  The comment was (paraphrased) get a tunnel from them, and get lost in it.  So, I did.

So what’s IPv6?

IPv6 is the newest standard for assigning IP Addresses to your devices on the network.  Right now, the majority of the people in the world (and sites on the Internet) use IPv4 addresses (192.168.3.2 for example).  The reason that it’s called IPv4 is because there are 4 groups of 8 bits making up each IP address (0 – 255 in each group).  The problem with this is, there is a finite amount of IP Addresses available, and after 20+ years of widespread Internet usage, we’re running out. 

One of the last reports that I saw said we’ll run out in about 666 days or less.  No, the world won’t stop (and neither will the Internet) but when you go to get online with that new iPhone v7 (figuring that within the next 365 days, there will be a v5 and within the next 600 days a v6), you won’t be able to.  Or you’ll be seriously restricted in how long you can be on (or what you can do).

IPv6 uses a 128-bit IP Addressing scheme.  That’s 8 groups of 16 bits.  I don’t have the exact figure for how many that is, but essentially it’s enough that every single person and device in the world could have it’s own IP Address.  And we’d still have tons left.

So, I decided to take that plunge and get on IPv6 (of course I’m still on my IPv4 address too, as my Internet Provider doesn’t supply IPv6 addresses that I know of).  It took a little bit of finagling to get everything working (mainly because of my network setup and the fact that my router is about 6 years old).  But, I’m happy to say it works. 

So, how do you get on IPv6?  Well unless your Internet Provider is giving out IPv6 addresses (which very few are to my knowledge and you’ll most likely have to ask for one), you’ll have to sign up with a “tunnel” service like Hurricane Electric (http://www.he.net).  After you sign up, they will help you to set up your computer/network to use the IPv6.  You may or may not be able to disable the IPv4 access, depending on various factors.

An example of how you’ll do it on Windows Vista/7, is this (noting that you’ll have to open a Command Prompt as the administrator)

netsh interface teredo set state disabled
netsh interface ipv6 add v6v4tunnel IP6Tunnel source-IPv4 destination-IPv4
netsh interface ipv6 add address IP6Tunnel IPv6-client (assigned by your tunnel)
netsh interface ipv6 add route ::/0 IP6Tunnel IPv6-server (assigned by your tunnel)

The “source-IPv4” is whatever IP address you signed up with, and the “destination-IPv4” is the IP Address (IPv4) of the tunnel.  The “add route” command is called a default route.  It means if there’s no other route known from your computer to whatever you’re trying to get to, then it goes through this route.

My next post is going to be a list of IPv6 websites.  Some will be information, and some will actually be accessible if you’re on IPv6.  My challenge to everyone is this:  Help me find sites.  The list that I found of sites that are IPv6 accessible is old (as in about 6 years).  So, I need more current sites.

I’ll start the list, and then I’ll edit it as I get more sites.

Have a great daySmile
Patrick.

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