You may have heard in recent months the panicked cry from Internet Service Providers and Web hosting companies, “We’re running out of IP addresses!”, and like most of us you probably thought “oh well” and went back to surfing the web, not paying much attention. However, when explained a different way, such as, “The Internet is full and closed to new business”, that got our attention.
What’s All This IP Stuff About?
IP stands for Internet Protocol and the last version, v4, provided the world with around 4 billion IP addresses. That would seem like plenty, wouldn’t it? However when every node of an Internet Protocol (IP) network, such as your computer, a router, or network printer is assigned an IP address, all those numbers are used fairly quickly. Even with ISPs using techniques such as Network Access Translation (NAT) to create clearinghouses for hundreds of domains under one IP address, we still managed to run through them all.
Clearly the internet needs more IP addresses. How many more, exactly? Well, how about 340 trillion trillion trillion (or, 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)? That’s how many addresses the internet’s new “piping,” IPv6, can handle. That’s a number big enough to give everyone on Earth their own list of billions of IP addresses. Big enough, in other words, to offer the Internet virtually infinite room to grow, from now into the foreseeable future.
So what is the problem then, you ask? As of last year, only about 12% of internet-connected networks support IPV6. In order to get the IPV6 integration moving The Internet Society created World IPV6 Launch and Day initiatives.
World IPV6 Launch
World IPV6 Day was held June 8, 2011, and represented a massive test of IPV6. Facebook reportedly called the results “encouraging” and left IPV6 enabled permanently. Over the next year, all the participants worked to iron out the kinks in preparation for the World IPV6 Launch.
World IPV6 Launch was held on June 6, 2012, and represented a commitment on the part of hundreds of Internet companies, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Comcast and various ISPs to rolling out IPV6 permanently, allowing for full integration by websites and users.
By all accounts it seems to have been a rousing success, in that the Internet didn’t break and our web surfing went on as normal. The Internet grew exponentially bigger, and the transition was seamless.
How Will This Affect Me?
This won’t affect you and IPv4 services will continue to operate as usual. There aren’t any upgrades to install or new hardware to buy, we can sit back and continue surfing the web like we always do; unaware that we almost ran out of IP addresses and the pending doom.
In fact, you may be using IPv6 already, visit ipv6test.google.com to find out. Many devices you use already support IPv6; however, the websites you visit and your Internet Service Provider must first enable IPv6 before you can use it.
Is HostLabs Internet Solutions IPv6 Ready?
Yes we are. In fact we were ready for this change in October 2011.
“HostLabs Internet Solutions is an award-winning and technologically driven hosting company with a commitment to customer service at its core. It makes sense, then, that HostLabs is already fully IPv6 ready and has made the technological commitment to remain ahead of the game for the benefit of all our customers – current and future.”