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Mon 4th February 2008

IPv6 rollout begins


Filed under: Internet and Technology

Today sees the start of the official IPv6 rollout which will end the current shortage of addresses that websites can be given.  IPv4, which the internet is currently based on, is due to be exhausted of it's address pool by 2011.

So, what is IPv6 and why is it so important?
IP addresses can be likened to phone numbers.  Every website and device connected to the internet has a number assigned to it, this is called an IP address.  IPv4 was dreamt up way before the internet boom, and with so many websites and devices requiring IP addresses it is running low on the possible number of numbers it can hand out.  IPv6 will alleviate this problem.

How many addresses can IPv6 support?
Approximately 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses.  Should keep us all happy for a while ;)

Can I use IPv6?
If you run your own website, ask your hosting provider - they may be able to offer you an IPv6 address.  If your PC is running Vista or Mac OS/X then they will be able to use IPv6 addresses if they are presented with them.

Wow!  I'm truly amazed and want to learn more - where can I go?
OK, OK, I admit it's pretty geeky, but it's extremely important for the future of the internet.  If you want to learn more, the BBC have an article here, and a Q&A here.  Alternatively, take a look at www.ipv6.org.

 
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