Technology:IPv6 What the? A quick guide to big changes on the 'net

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As resident tech guru I thought it is time I put some facts out about the Internet and big changes that are coming in the next couple of years.

Because this change is huge there will be a lot of FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) without a lot of simple facts to make things clear.

[top]So what is the big change?

It's called IPv6 (Internet Protocol V6) and is a change from the current IPv4 (32 bit addressing) to IPv6 (128 bit addressing).
We will start seeing items about IPv6 in the mainstream press in the next few years, a lot of what will be published will be confusing.

[top]So what and why do we need it?

We (this planet) are running out of IPv4 addresses and within a few years the whole internet needs to change to the new IPv6 system.
In fact some countries (China, Japan, some parts of Europe and Australia) have make significant progress towards IPv6.

[top]How does this affect me?

In summary this is the impact:
  • You will need to turn on IPv6 in Windows XP (Linux, Vista, Windows 7 and MACos have it already)
  • Your internet connection hardware will probably need replacing or at least a firmware upgrade (Router etc.)
  • Your ISP will need to provide an IPv6 address for you (my ISP, Internode, already does)
  • NAT (NAT - Network Address Translation) no longer applies so you will need some form of firewall (either in your new router or your computers)
  • Every device will have a real IP address so tracing people will be easier for Governments etc. also your approach to security will need to change
  • There will be a lot of confusion - Don't panic! - get good help if you need it
  • AP has IPv6 addresses and runs dual stack IPv4 and IPv6; AP is already there!
  • NBN is IPv6 ready but also depends on your ISP having it's back end also IPv6 enabled

[top]Some reading:

[top]Rubber band effect

A lot of people have ignored this issue for a long time.
Eventually everyone is suddenly going to need IPv6 and some ISP's just are not ready.
Eventually some sites will be IPv6 only and if you don't have Ipv6 you will start missing out on parts of the 'net.
*SNAP* and then slight panic for 12-24 months while everyone scrambles to deploy IPv6.

So: Ask your ISP what their IPv6 readiness is like.
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