IPv6 is the future of the Internet.
You may have heard the Internet is running out of addresses. The current protocol, IPv4 is 45-years-old. These numerical Internet addresses -- 4 sets of three-digit numbers (i.e. 192.168.122.101) -- are nearly exhausted. The addresses work to map devices such as a website server or a printer to a machine readable number.
IPv6 is the next generation Internet Protocol (IP) address standard. It has been designed to coexist and eventually replace IPv4. Organizations like CIRA, Google, Facebook, and large Internet Service Providers have implemented IPv6 to a greater or lesser degree.
“Please, don't wait for the killer application for IPv6 because the killer application is the Internet itself.”
- Paul Wilson, NRO (see transcript)
This is not just another technology change; it is THE technology replacement required to keep the Internet functioning now and into the future. IPv6 offers a 128 bit address space That is a lot of addresses. Some compare the number of addresses to the number of atoms on the planet; while others have done the math to show how many "universe ages" it would take to count them all. Trust us, 2128 is pretty big - here is more if you need it.
How does the CIRA Internet Performance Test gauge IPv6 capability?
The IPv6 test is designed to connect and retrieve an image from an IPv6 only web site. Your computer, your home network and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) all must support IPv6 in order to pass the test.
Congratulations! You are part of the future Internet
Failed test. You may not be able to connect to all web sites on the Internet
What can I do?
If you're an IT person, the first thing you can do is help make sure your corporate IT infrastructure is IPv6 capable.
If you're a consumer you can start by configuring your consumer devices. Beyond that, consumers can help build grass roots demand for IPv6 in Canada. As a customer of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) you can:
- Help to grow IPv6 in Canada by calling your ISP and asking for it.
- Research ISPs that are on the leading edge when selecting a provider.
- Take a screen grab of this test (if you passed) and brag on social media about being part of the Internet's future. It is fun, entertaining, and proves how awesome you are.
For more information, consult the definitive source for all things IPv6
The Internet Society IPv6 Deploy360 programme is a great resource for IPv6. Here are some highlights:
- IPv6 is the true platform for the Internet of Things
- IPv4 is 45 years old, time to upgrade!
- The future Internet is based on IPv6
- The Internet is both IPv4 and IPv6