You’ve probably heard over the last few weeks that the Internet will soon be going through a big change. The modification you’ve been hearing about is the transition to IPv6, which many people are still unclear about. Read on for an explanation of IPv6 and what it could mean for you.
What it is
IPv6 is the newest version of IP, or Internet Protocol, which is the method by which data is transmitted over the Internet. IPv4 is the version of IP that has been used up until this point, but it is running out of addresses. This is where IPv6 comes into play.
The previous version of IP, IPv4, used 32-bit addresses, which allowed for a total of 4 billion unique addresses. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, making it possible to create many more unique addresses.
How the transition may affect you
Most likely, some challenges will come up during the transition. Most problems you may run into will likely be related to the browser you’re using and/or the Web server of the site you wish to visit. Some potential problems include:
- If you’re using IPv6 and you try to access an IPv4 site, you may receive a “404” error.
- If you are using a network that only supports IPv4, you may not be able to access IPv6 sites – you can reconfigure your network in order to fix this.
Despite the potential for problems, many people agree that you will probably still be able to view any site if you are using IPv6.
How to avoid IPv6-related problems
There are several resources that can warn you about any issues you may run into during the transition to IPv6. Websites like http://omgipv6day.com/ and http://test-ipv6.com/ will tell you if you will be able to access most sites. They will also tell you where your problems will stem from, if you experience any.
Overall, IPv6 will be a much-needed change that will allow for a greater volume of information and activity on the Internet. For more information on IPv6 and the transition, take a look at this article.