Some things to know about IPv6. 1


Hi there.

I’ve posted about IPv6 before, and in some cases people are hearing more and more about it in the mainstream media. However, in most cases, you’re not hearing anything (and probably not even aware of it). So, here are a few things that you should know about IPv6.

IPv4 and IPv6 are not compatible. What does this mean? It means that if your server/site only has access via IPv4 or via IPv6, then users who are not running both configurations may not be able to access it.

The changeover is not automatic. What this means is if you run the service, you either a) have to manually configure it for IPv6, or b) instruct your hosting provider (and/or Domain Registrar) to configure it to be accessible via IPv6. It won’t happen automatically.

We’re almost out of IPv4 addresses. What this means is that after this month, no more IPv4 addresses will be available for providers or corporations. While you may not notice anything, some things will be happening.

These are:

  • Entities who currently have IPv4 addresses will have to make due with what they have.
  • If you’re a new subscriber to an ISP, you may get an IPv4 address, both an IPv4 and IPv6 address, or just an IPv6 address. If you only get an IPv6 address, then a lot of sites that you currently visit will not work.
  • Not a lot of sites are making the effort to configure IPv6 yet.

Because IPv6 is new, the security issues are not completely known. And most consumer routers/modems are not capable of working with IPv6 (or securing it). As time goes on and more people are making the switch, you will see more information in plain language about securing your networks.

Your computer won’t automatically switch to IPv6. This is kind of misleading. I say that, because if your modem provides you with an IPv6 address, and your operating system has IPv6 installed, then it will automatically get one. However, if your Operating System doesn’t have IPv6 installed, you will have to do that.

You can just set up IPv6 and surf. Again, this is misleading. Yes, you can Just set up IPv6 and surf. However, there are multiple steps needed (unless your ISP provides you with an IPv6 address). You have to find an IPv6 tunnel service (http://www.tunnelbroker.net http://www.gogo6.net http://www.sixXs.net are a few) and sign up for their service. Then you have to configure your computer (or install their tools) to use their service as your tunnel. Finally, you need to test things out by going to sites like http://www.whatismyipv6.net **I would try this one first, as it will show you an IPv4 or IPv6 address–depending on what it detects** http://ipv6.google.com http://www.v6.facebook.com or other IPv6 enabled sites.

Most importantly, if your favorite site doesn’t have IPv6 capabilities, you need to pressure them to make the switch. I would imagine within the next six to nine months, that most major sites will start to switch. However, the onus is on YOU to make sure they know that it’s needed.

I should note that some of the information from this came from a post on Planet Ubuntu. http://www.stgraber.org/2010/12/31/getting-ready-for-ipv6/ and http://www.omat.nl/2011/01/09/ipv6-approaching-fast/ (Planet KDE)

I’ll have more information on the changeover as it arrives.

Have a great day:)
Patrick.


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