Well, now it’s official that the final few IPv4 blocks have been allocated, it poses the question are you ready for IPv6?
In a very short time, the world will be forced to move onto the new standard for IP address allocation – called IPv6. If you aren’t familiar with the IP versions, bear the following in mind.
IPv4 has the capability of issuing 4,294,967,296 addresses – which (believe it or not) has almost been exhausted. We can calculate this because IPv4 is 32-bit, meaning that we can calculate the number of IP addresses available by doing 232. The new standard, IPv6, is 128-bit. This means that IPv6 can issue approximately 3.4×1038 addresses – a very large amount of addresses.
I recently came across a very handy website that will test your connection (and your web browser) to check if you’re ready for IPv6. Some ISPs are already issuing IPv6 addresses (most aren’t, however). If you aren’t already on an IPv6 address, you probably won’t be able to connect to one as (theoretically) you can’t connect an IPv4 address to an IPv6 address.
If you want to check whether your connection is ready, try this website. It will run several tests and conclude whether you can communicate with IPv6 yet or not.
On June 8th 2011, an IPv6 world trial will run. This will mean that large websites (such as Facebook) will trial running on an IPv6 platform for 24 hours. The idea is that the world will get a general idea as to how easy the switchover will be as it becomes closer and closer.