Happy World IPv6 Day

You may or may not know or care what your Internet Protocol (IP) Address is. But, it is required for your computer and other devices to connect via the Internet. That includes your cell phone, whether smart or merely bright.

We have been running on IP V4, version 4. Today is the official… designated… tipping point day… whatever, it’s called the World IPv6 Day, for the changeover to IP version 6. The first IPv6 Day was in 2011. We are now one year into IPv6.

An IPv4 address looks like ###.###.###.### and ranges from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255. That gives us about 4.3 billion addresses. Except some ranges like 10.x.x.x, 172.16.x.x, and 192.168.x.x are reserved for private networks. Offices and home generally use these. They are considered none-routable. Meaning the first router outside your home or office will refuse to forward traffic destined for one of those addresses. This lets you easily setup private networks and saves on addresses. It lets your entire office or all the computers in your office to be reached by one routable IP address. Very much like one phone number can come into a switch board and reach any phone within an office.

IPv4 uses four 8 bit numbers for addressing, or 32 bits total or 232 addresses. IPv6 uses 128 bits or 2128 addresses, which is a bit over a Undecillion… a 1 with 36 zeros. The actual number is 1 followed by 38 zeros, but there is no specific name for that number.

An IPv6 number looks like: ABCD:EFAB:CDEF:ABCD:0000:0000:0000:0000 (for most current use the zeros can be omitted) or if written like the IPv4 number: ###.###.###.###.###.###.###.###.###.###.###.###.###.###.###.###.

Rather than use 0-255 numbers we use Hexidecimal, a base 16 number written using 0 to F, 0123456789ABCDEF where A= 10 and F= 16.

Short story, we get more addresses… a LOT MORE addresses.

What Does This Mean for You?

Probably nothing. You will use IPv6 and be dependent on it. But, you are unlikely to notice the changeover. We have been changing over since 2002. You have probably been using IPv6 without noticing.

You can test your computer and see if it is IPv6 ready and if the Internet between you and Google is IPv6 capable. Just click: IPv6 Test Server at Google.

Which Systems are IPv6 Ready?

  • Windows XP with SP1 or later
  • Windows Vista
  • Win7 and later
  • Apple iOS4
  • Apple OS X v10.3 (since 2002)
  • Apple Airport Extreme 802 (

You can try the command line PING command from a command prompt or DOS window to see if it accepts the IPv6 command: ping -6 ipv6.google.com.

You should at least get back the address: 2001:4860:4002:802::1011. Don’t be surprised if you get no ping back. That is not a problem. Some day you will get a ping back. But, for now ISP’s use a conversion process and the PING -6 forcing the use of IPv6 fails because it insists that all packets remain IPv6. Once all their hardware is replaced, they won’t need the conversion process.

Happy World IPv6 Day!

 

2 thoughts on “Happy World IPv6 Day

  1. Hi,

    I don’t think you supposed the list of IPv6 capable operating systems to be complete but I want to add that Linux based systems are IPv6 capable as well 🙂

    Have fun

    • I generally omit Linux details because I expect anyone running a Linux box is ahead of me in regard to Linux.

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