Today is World IPv6 Day, the day where some of the major internet companies around the globe switch to IPv6 to test out the new protocol and to see how their network configurations fare. The internet is set to fully run out of IPv4 addresses very, very shortly, so World IPv6 Day is an easy way to test IPv6 connections with a huge test user base (the entire internet population) and evaluate the effects of the switch.
Popular internet sources such as Google, Facebook, Bing, YouTube, Yahoo and more have switched to using IPv6 before IPv4 to connect its users today, meaning both protocols will be in use. Despite this fact, around 0.05% of internet users will have problems connecting to websites on World IPv6 Day due to misconfigured home networks, according to Sierra Madre Patch. They mention that despite the low sounding figure, it actually equates to around 150,000 North Americans and more than a million people worldwide.
IPv6 has actually been around for more than a decade as engineers realized that IPv4 addresses will eventually come to a close, however companies have been slow to deploy proper IPv6 solutions as the situation hasn’t been particularly grave. Unlike IPv4, which only allows for around 4.3 billion addresses (232 to be specific), IPv6 supports 340 undecillion addresses (2128) for extreme flexibility – or around 50 octillion addresses per person. To accommodate this huge increase, IPv6 addresses are longer compared to IPv4 addresses and use hexadecimal characters; an example would be 2001:db8:1f70:999:de8:7648:6e8.
You will most likely find your favourite internet sources participating in World IPv6 Day fully functional today, however if you are not, the day will end at 23:59 UTC where the sites will switch back to the standard IPv4 configuration.
Are you already on IPv6? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: worldipv6day.org