Tomorrow is World IPv6 day, and if you don’t know what that is, you probably haven’t been on the Internet.
IPv6 is the new Internet addressing system which aims to be able to provide a new Internet address for every device in the home, to replace the IPv4 protocol which is running out of space.
Tomorrow, the big guns like Google, Facebook, Bing and Yahoo are turning on their future-proofed websites and two Sydney schools, Waverley College and Wollondilly Anglican College, are joining in to test the new system.
The changeover has been likened to the telephone numbering system in the 1990s, when Australia switched over to ten digit phone numbers to be able to accommodate more users.
IPv4 had 4.3 billion addresses it could share, but with many more computers, smartphones, TVs and other internet connected devices populating the consumer technology world, the need for more space on the world wide web has become apparent.
However, the changeover is not as simple as adding a few digits. Behind the scenes, hardware and software need to be configured, and Search engines, social networking sites and other big tech companies are inviting the public to log in on June 8 to put them to the test in the real world.
IPv6Now is a company assisting Australian businesses to make the transition to the new standard, and says the new system will make networking much easier because each device can have its own permanent address.
The simplest versions of IPv6 are eight sets of four characters eg 2406:a000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0029 and will increase the number of possible addresses to 2 to the power of 128 or more than a trillion trillion addresses for every person now alive (officially it’s 50 octillion).
However, old IPv4 addresses won’t be shut anytime soon. Over the next few years, IPv6 sites will however become dominant, so IT administrators will have their work cut out.
Anyone can test the new sites with a piece of free software available at IPv6Now.com.au. It will help you work out if your home, business, and Internet provider aren’t ready for the new address system.