IPv6 – what does it mean?

You’ve most likely heard over the last few weeks that the Internet will soon be experiencing a big change. The modification you’ve been hearing about is the transition to IPv6, which many people are still puzzled by. Read on for an explanation of IPv6 and what it could mean for you.

What it is

IPv6 is a version of IP (Internet Protocol) that has been created due to the previous version having a limited number of addresses. IP is the method by which data is sent over the Internet. Running out of addresses essentially means that new websites will no longer be able to be created.

IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses rather than the 32-bit addresses used by IPv4. The longer number strings allow for more addresses because there are a greater number of possible combinations. 

How the transition may affect you

The biggest issues relating to IPv6 will probably appear during the initial transition. Whether or not you will have a problem accessing a page will depend on your browser and the Web server of that domain. 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 on 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

Fortunately, if you are worried about problems you might encounter during the transition, there are a few resources designed to help you out. http://omgipv6day.com/ and http://test-ipv6.com/ are two websites that will alert you if you are likely to see any problems due to the IPv6 transition. 

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.