June 6, 2012 was chosen by the Internet Society as the world IPv6 launch day. Major ISPs, web companies and home networking equipment manufacturers have now turned IPv6 on permanently.
IPv6 is a new internet addressing scheme that will replace IPv4, the current scheme. The main issue was that IPv4 only allows 4.2 billion addresses, which is not enough to meet world demand – especially given the number of smartphones, computers, servers, and the future of the internet of things. IPv6 allows for 340 undecillion addresses (3 followed by 38 zeros).
The average user won’t notice a difference. Most current operating systems and web browsers support IPv6. Anyone buying any new networking equipment should make sure it is IPv6 capable. And if you are still holding on to that Windows XP machine that won’t be IPv6 capable, don’t panic just yet – IPv4 won’t be turned off for a while.
image credit: Internet Society