IPv4 is running out, time for IPv6

Did you know that today is World IPv6 Day? It’s a 24-hour global-scale trial of the next generation Internet Protocol organized by the Internet Society and Globe Telecoms join Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai, Limelight Networks and other global organization in an effort to accelerate IPv6 deployment around the world.

IPv4 address are running out. Each device capable of connecting to the internet (mobile phones, routers, modems), business, website, requires an IP address to access the web. An example of an IPv4 address is 172.14.2.21 number and it’s already running out, meaning no more IPv4 address can be issued to new entities requiring it soon. Right now, only 75,000+ IPv4 addresses allocated to Asia Pacific are left that’s why a new protocol called IPv6 is needed.

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IPv6 has a very, very large address space. It uses 128-bit addresses compared to IPv4 which only has 32-bits. If IPv4 can only have 4.3 billion IP addresses (yes it’s almost gone), IPv6 has 340 Undecillion. Yes, I just learned that undecillion is a number, a really, really large number. With IPv6, every ant in the world can have its own IP address (because ants need websites too) and still billions more would be available.

Globe Telecoms launched an IPv6 website – http://biz6.globe.com.ph – that is accessible via IPv4 and IPv6. You can learn more about IPv6 and the need to transition to this new protocol. Right now, most devices supports both IPv4 and IPv6 but there are still legacy systems that cannot. Windows versions below XP will not be able to access IPv6 sites. Some modems and routers won’t be able to issue IPv6 addresses to devices.

During the Globe press briefing, there was an IPv6 wireless network that we can connect to but unfortunately, my Android 2.3 phone cannot connect to it. iPhone can if you enable IPv6 in the settings. My iPod Touch can because it supports dual-stack. It won’t get an IPv6 address but it can connect to one and peruse an IPv4 address instead to surf the web. Fortunately, most devices need only a software patch to make them IPv6-ready.

So do you have to migrate to IPv6? Not in the near future, both IPv4 and IPv6 can co-exist although there will come a time where users will be assigned IPv6 addresses only, so end devices and your network should be able to IPv6.

There’s no need to be alarmed really. Even if you cannot access IPv6 devices and websites, the burden of implementation lies to the service providers and ISPs not unless you really have a super-old system. For Globe, their core IP network is IPv6 ready, allowing its users to access both IPv4 and IPv6 websites. It has also initiated IPv6 peering with top global carriers and content distribution networks. They’re the first Philippine carrier to enable IPv6 with AT&T, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, KDDI, Level 3 Communications, SingTel, Sprint, StarHub, Limelight Networks and Yahoo!.

To test if your connection is capable of IPv6, you can visit http://test-ipv6.com/.

 

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