My ISP is IPv6 capable now. Is yours? [See details].
Today; June 6, 2012; a large number of Internet Service Providers around the world upgraded their networks to IPv6 capability. The technology has been around now since around 2000. It was developed to cope with the shortage of IP addresses in IPv4 number space.
Internet Engineers have known for years now that the IP address system of IPv4 would soon run out of IP address numbers. The last blocks of several million addresses were assigned last year to the Domain Registrars that parcel them out. The IPv4 system uses 32 bit binary numbers, usually written in human-readable notation such as 188.8.131.52 (Wikipedia.org’s IP address). That allows for a paltry 4,294,967,296 addresses, which means that only 4 out of every 7 living human beings today could have their own IP adderess.
IPv6 resolves the number space restriction by switching to 128 bit numbering, with IP addresses looking like 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1. This change allows for a staggering 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 (3.4×10^32) addresses. That’s enough for every one of the 7 billion humans on Earth to have roughly 48,600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Web sites for themselves.
The new IPv6 system has so much address space it seems as if it will suffice even if we spread into space and discover other intelligent life in need of IP addresses. But of course, back in 1989 when the engineers at CERN were developing the concept of the World Wide Web, a 32 bit number seemed ridiculously large.
Has your ISP made the switch? Do you think IPv6 will last a lifetime, or will we be upgrading to IPv8 with 256 bits at some point in the foreseeable future?