Happy IPv6 Day

Today is IPv6 Day; here's a link round-up to celebrate. But don't panic.Wikipedia: IPv6 First, this is an uber-geeky topic for most of us. As usual, Wikipedia does an excellent job explaining it:Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is a version of...

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Today is IPv6 Day; here's a link round-up to celebrate. But don't panic.

  • Wikipedia: IPv6
    First, this is an uber-geeky topic for most of us. As usual, Wikipedia does an excellent job explaining it:

    Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is a version of the Internet Protocol (IP) that is designed to succeed Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). The Internet operates by transferring data in small packets that are independently routed across networks as specified by an international communications protocol known as the Internet Protocol. Each data packet contains two numeric addresses that are the packet's origin and destination devices. Since 1981, IPv4 has been the publicly used version of the Internet Protocol, and it is currently the foundation for most Internet communications. The growth of the Internet has mandated a need for more addresses than is possible with IPv4. IPv6 allows for vastly more addresses.

  • Internet Society World IPv6 Day
    This is the home page for the June 8th activities. You'll see from this that it's an opportunity for the biggest web sites to try turning on IPv6 support to see if it has any impact on their visitors and to check the effects on their own infrastructure and operations. Very few people in the world will have noticed anything change as all the IPv4 services are still in place in parallel. In other words, nothing to see here, folks, this is a test.

    All the same, it's a good opportunity to explore IPv6 for the first time for many of us.

  • IPv6 Statistics from Google
    Just how many of us have IPv6 available to us? Google has useful statistics available here.
  • Test your IPv6
    A fast and easy test page that will tell you how well configured your IPv6 support is. You may be surprised just how well it's working for you! If that's all too complex, try OMG! IPv6 Day!
  • The ICSI Netalyzr
    If that's not enough to satisfy your geek needs, this site is a serious test tool written in Java that will give your network connection a thorough shake-down and tell you how well it's configured and how well it's working for you.
  • IPv6 Eye Chart
    OK, so it's working OK apparently - but can you reach anything? Try this test to see if you can get to all the sites signed up for the tests.
  • Google via IPv6
    OK, so you have it working, now what can you do with it? Well, Google has most of their services available via IPv6, such as this entry point to their search engine.
So does it matter? Certainly there will be benefits from using IPv6 - an "internet of things" needs every "thing" to have its own network address - but IPv6 has been a Next Big Thing since the mid-late 90s. Meanwhile, there are perfectly good solutions to keep most of us using IPv4 for internet access almost indefinitely. 

The truth is it will make no difference to most of us until our ISPs and phone companies provide true IPv6 access direct to us, instead of it existing only in their own world. So while IPv6 Day is an interesting side-show, there's really still nothing to see or to worry about.

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