Wednesday, December 1, 2010

IPv6 Awareness: Are You Ready?


Most people have at least HEARD of an IP address, and for those who haven’t...Let me guess...this is the first blog you’ve been on? If you know this already please skip to paragraph 2, if not, feel free to read on: An IP address is an ‘Internet protocol’ address, and is essentially your computers name on the Internet - So contrary to belief, when you name your computer ‘Boss Man’ or ‘Yoda’, not even the Internet will know.


IP addresses currently are made up of 4 bytes, each ranging from 0 to 255. This gives the available unique computer names to be just over 4.2 billion. Seems like a large number, but with the number of computers in the world, the dawn of the current IP address has arrived, and soon, it will be extinct. So what’s next...complete chaos? Maybe a repeat of the Y2K? Nah, some computer savvy people have your back, and chances are, their solutions are already on your computer.


IPv6 is the upgraded version of what you currently have, and instead of using 4 bytes, it uses 16, allowing for nearly 350 trillion addresses. And if that ever gets filled up, none of us will know, because it’s expected to last for multiple more centuries. But the issue though with IPv6 isn't the available addresses, it’s the service providers. You know, the people who you’re paying right this second just to read what I’m writing. Most service providers haven’t switched over fully to this new system, or don’t appear to be ready when necessary. Which could cause a huge problem when the time comes.


Now to be honest, there’s not much you can do, besides hope that your service provider is ready when the time comes, and chances are, they will be. But the only way to be sure is to ‘raise awareness’ for this issue.You can do this by making sure you have a router that is IPv6 compatible, and tell your friends. In fact, a great way to do so would be to click the tweet button below. Just saying.

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