John from the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) chats with Jeffrey and John on the transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
In the past year, the last remaining IPv4 addresses were handed out to global regions. Some areas of the world have already run out of unallocated addresses, so it’s essential that in the next few years everyone starts using IPv6. This year, the World IPv6 Launch happens on 6 June 2012, with internet service providers (ISPs), networking equipment manufacturers and web companies permanently enabling IPv6 for their products and services. This is a big step forward in the transition to IPv6 but don’t worry, IPv4 isn’t going away for at least 10 years.
Warning…this interview is for advanced users only.
Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine and Andy Smith of Geocaching World.
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Today June 8th is IPV6 Day, I know that most people are thinking that’s nice, what is IPV6 and why should I care. The reason you should care is that IPV4 which is the current protocol we are using is running out of IP addresses. When the Internet was first conceived the idea that we would need more than the 4.3 billion IP address that is available under IPV4 seemed ridiculous. However now that everything from our computer to TVs have their own IP address there are more than 4 billion IPV4 addresses in use. In fact ICANN which allocates these numbers issued the last blocks in February of this year to the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). IPV6 is the protocol that is replacing IPV4. While IPV4 is based on 32 bits of information, IPV6 is based on 128 bits, which means the number of address available will be 3.4 X10 to the 38th power.
For the near future IPV4 and IPv6 will coexist and as new devices come online they will be IPV6 capable and IPV4 will be faded out. Actually Windows 7, Mac OS X, and Linux all support IPv6 as does iOS 4.1+, Windows Mobile and Android 2.2 (and above). Most consumers will not notice a difference, other than they may be provided a new router by their ISP. The biggest problem will be with businesses that depend on the internet for their daily business. They need to make sure they can communicate with both IPv6 and IPv4 devices. If they can only communicate with IPv4 then they may have problems reaching their customers using IPv6 devices. So it is important for businesses to make sure their networks are IPv6 ready as quickly as they can. The other advantages that IPv6 has over IPv4 are:
* Auto Configuration
* Built in Security
* Improved Quality of Service
* Routing Improvements
* Simplified Packet Header
* Improved Mobility
One of the companies that is participating IPv6 day is D-Link. D-Links is helping to test IPv6 to discover and address any problems that come up. All new D-link products including routers, switches and access points are IPv6 ready. There is a page which list D-Links products that are IPv6 ready. D-Links can also offer complete solutions for companies who are trying to go from IPv4 to IPv6. They have a good step by step guide on how to be prepared. Other companies that are participating in IPv6 day include Google, Facebook and Yahoo.
There are some questions on how much of an emergency it is to go to IPv6, there are some who think that the rush to IPv6 is unnecessary, while others think it’s happening to slowly. Whether you think going to IPv6 is necessary or not, really doesn’t matter it is happening and you need to make sure your business is ready. D-Links offers to help business transfer to IPv6 at their web-site
Todd Cochrane spoke to Richard of the American Registry of Internet Numbers or ARIN. ARIN provides service related to the management of Internet number resources in its specific region. There are five RIR in the world, the American registry serves the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. One of their main purposes today is to get out the word that IPv4 numbers are running out. IPv4 is based on 32 bits with 4 billion addresses.
According to Richard, even if we got back all the legacy IPv4 addresses that are no longer in use we would only have enough addresses for another 10 years. Right now most regions will run out of their allocation of IPv4 addresses sometime this year. ARIN will have no more to give them. When this happens if the regional ISP provider hasn’t switched over to IPv6, they will be forced to do things like have multiple consumers use the same IPv4 address. This will increase latency for the consumer and could break some equipment.
IPV6 has been around since 1998, however it has taken sometime for manufacture to make their equipment IPv6 capable, Today all Windows, Mac and most Linux distributions are IPv6 capable, however there is a lot of electronic equipment that is not. If you are buying a new piece of hardware, make sure it is IPv6 capable. IPv6 is based on 128 bits with support for 2 to the 128th power addresses. Once everything moves over to IPv6 we should have enough addresses to last for centuries. For now we will have the mixture of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central.
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