Here on the Internet, we’ve been using the IPv4 network protocol for quite a while. Its successor, IPv6, is waiting patiently in the wings, but it’s a hard leap to make.
IPv4 addresses look like
192.168.50.66. IPv6 addresses are longer:
2001:0f68:0000:0000:0000:0000:1986:69af. IPv4 only provides 232 possible addresses, which we’re plowing through rapidly; IPv6 provides 2128, which should last us rather an astronomical while.
IPv6 offers further advantages too, like built-in authentication.
Nobody wants to be the first to make the leap, but the long-awaited transition seems to be happening slowly but surely. In February, IPv6 DNS records were added to the root servers. In March, Google launched ipv6.google.com. Does that site work for you? Then your Internet provider is an unusually forward-thinking one. like Hurricane Electric.
Hurricane Electric, a hosting company I like a lot, is pushing hard for the transition. They already offer dual-stack IPv6 for their users. Here‘s a PDF copy of the letter we users just got. For everyone else, they offer a free IPv6 tunnel service at Tunnelbroker.net. Try it out!