Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Welcome IPv6, about time.

Today, June the 8th, we welcome Ipv6 to the Universe of the Interwebs.
Organized by the Internet Society, a number of companies and Internet providers will enable this new technology for 24 hours (including Google, Facebook, Yahoo!), on the first public worldwide test of the future of internet addressing.

What exactly is IPv6?

Well, to understand that we need to know that for every network connection using the Internet Protocol (being it a single person, a website, a server, a mall, a school....) there is a unique address assigned to it. It is commonly known as an IP address and consists of 4 series of 3 numbers (called octets, because each one of them is composed of eight bits, that is, a combination of eight 1s and 0s). With this method of numbering the entities inside a network we have exactly 4294967296 unique numbers. Those numbers are given by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) in chunks for Internet Service Providers to use with their customers. By knowing an IP, you can know where a connection is being made from with pretty good accuracy, and is sort of your fingerprint while you browse the internet.

IP
I spy on you.

Some of those numbers are conventionally used only for private networks, like the addresses beginning with 192.168., or 172.16., and some others for multicast addresses. Around 300 million of those combinations, therefor, are unusable, but it's still a pretty big number.

However big it is, we ran out of them so we need a new system. In comes IPv6 with it's 128 bits of length and with it:
340300000000000000000000000000000000000
new addresses.
Seems good enough for the foreseeable future. I certainly hope there are not that many computers connected to the internet, ever, or global warming will be blamed on our microchips.

Are you ready for this change?

Well if your computer is not ancient (and I mean ancient, like turn of the century-old), and if you're running a recent Operating System, then chances are you are good to go. This technology, while still not implemented, has been in development for years.
You can always go here to see how ready you are:
http://test-ipv6.com/
If it says you're not ready, don't worry, the problem is most likely with your Internet Service Provider and they'll make the needed adjustments when the time comes.

The World IPv6 Day will test the stability, reliability and general functionality of what's going to be the future standard protocol. If you want to learn more head over to the Internet society.

5 comments:

  1. I always get a chill whenever I see my details online.

    ReplyDelete
  2. no i am not rdy for a change!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Subtle way of incorporating that software of finding out the visitor's IP address.
    Yes, you do spy on us :O

    ReplyDelete