What Is IPv6?
IPv6 is the next evoloution of the Internet Protocol. Currently internet services run on IPv4 addresses. Computers use these addresses to specify what computer they want to talk to. When you type in a websites name, it is translated into an IPv4 addresses behind the scenes, and your computer uses this to connect to the website and show you the page. However, thanks to the rapid growth of the internet, we are starting to run out of IPv4 addresses. Soon there will be no more new IPv4 addresses, meaning that it will be harder and harder to get new web servers online. There are about 232 (4,294,967,296) IPv4 addresses and we are almost out. IPv6 is the soloution to this problem. With IPv6 there are far more addresses. In fact there are 2128 addresses. Written out this is 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456. As you can see, this allows quite a few more addresses on the internet. The difference is that IPv4 is a 32 bit address, IPv6 is a 128 bit address, allowing for a much greater number of permeations.
What is IPv6 day?
IPv6 day (June 8th 2011) is the day that the Internet Society and a number of large websites and corporations have decided to test IPv6 on their sites and services. IPv6 will become the default address for companies such as google, yahoo!, facebook and more. This means that any users that can connect over IPv6 will. The purpose of this test day is to see any hidden problems with large scale IPv6 deployment. One reason these companies are not running IPv6 today is that many users only have access to IPv4 connections and are unable to use IPv6. If you are one of these people, don't worry! Companies on IPv6 day will be offering IPv6 as the primary method of accessing their sites, but if you cannot connect, you will automatically fall back to IPv4. It might be a small bit slower than usual, but on June 9th everything goes back to normal, and IPv4 will be the main system, until the next IPv6 test, or it is rolled out permanantly!
How can I prepare for IPv6 day?
Most users don't need to do anything to prepare for IPv6 day. However there are some things that can be done to see if you, your browser and your internet connection are IPv6 ready. Check out IPv6 Test to see if you're ready to use IPv6. If you want to know if sites you use, or need support IPv6, then you can check out our IPv6 Compatibility Test Site. We track the IPv6 compatibility of a number of sites, and also allow users to type in their own sites to check.
Want to know if your favourite Irish sites support IPv6 yet?Click to check!