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World IPv6 Launch Day is Here. What Does that Mean?

By Mary Beth Hamilton | Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

It’s alive! It’s alive!

Well actually tomorrow, June 6 2012, it (aka IPv6) will officially be alive, but that doesn’t work with our Hedge IT blog calendar so today we look at IPv6.

As a refresher, since the inception of the Internet, we have been using IPv4, which totals about 4.3 billion Internet addresses. But with the increasing number of wireless technologies that support the Internet (smart phones, tablet, etc.), these addresses are depleting.

Enter IPv6. The new IPv6 protocol uses 128-bit addresses and allows for substantially more IP addresses – trillions upon trillions of new addresses. The World IPv6 Launch Day marks a key milestone as companies shift their infrastructures to the new protocol, which will eventually completely replace IPv4.

What Happens on World IPv6 Launch Day?

World IPv6 Launch signifies the largest industry movement towards and deployment of IPv6 in the history of the Internet. The goal of the Launch Day is to motivate organizations to permanently enable IPv6 and begin the transition before IPv4 addresses officially run out.

On June 6, participating ISPs will enable IPv6 so that at least one percent of their residential wireline subscribers visit participating websites via IPv6. Participating home networking equipment makers will enable IPv6 by default on their home router products. And participating companies, such as Eze Castle Integration, will enable IPv6 on their main websites permanently (check!).

Potential Hiccups?

According to the Internet Society, “most Internet users will not be affected. Internet users should enjoy uninterrupted service. In rare cases, users may still experience connectivity issues when visiting participating Websites. As ISPs enable IPv6, and home gateway products support it, users at home with modern operating systems and devices will start using IPv6 automatically. In particular, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X 10.7 support IPv6.”

Bye, Bye IPv4

IPv4 still has some life left in it and won’t be fading into oblivion just yet. World IPv6 Launch Day merely introduces IPv6 in parallel to IPv4. It is worth noting that participating websites (like ours!) will still support IPv4 and provide access.

Got Questions?

Our team is happy to answer your IPv6 questions. Just ask.

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