World IPv6 Launch : Expanding The Internet
The world is getting bigger and bigger (at least in terms of population) and the internet is getting more and more congested. Most of the world is currently using IPv4 which allocates unique addresses to each device connected over internet. However, the space for saving more addresses is getting smaller and smaller. Yesterday saw the world IPv6 launch, the next generation internet protocol version which has the capacity to provide approximately 3.4×10^38 addresses, thus allowing accommodation of more devices and users over the internet for a very long time in the future.
Thus, the internet can grow at a continuous rate with the launch of IPv6 which ends the problem of IPv4 exhaustion. Not many users would have noticed this transformation and a very large part of the internet users won’t even have a clue about it. The content owners who adapt themselves for this change and migrate to IPv6 will definitely have some advantages over others. For starters, their online performance will be enhanced and users would find a very fast surfing environment over their sites.
However, this change would require router manufacturers to provide firmware updates to their already installed products and make them compatible with IPv6. It is also anticipated that such a major transition is going to bring some new security threats along with it. There haven’t been any major security issues or incident with IPv6 but this is just because only 1% of total internet traffic has yet gone on them. As the time passes by and the share of internet traffic over it increases, the security threats will also follow along with it.
It would be a wise decision for network managers to upgrade their security threat detection systems to support this newly launched internet protocol version. DDoS detection, deep packet inspection and intrusion protection systems should be optimized accordingly. Many of the major websites and networks have or are in the process of transition from IPv4 to IPv6. Facebook, Google, Time Warner Verizon and Comcast are some of the early participants. Further, most of the operating systems at host end – Windows Vista, 7, Mac OS, Linux, iOS and Android, have IPv6 compatibility therefore it is not going to be much of a concern for users.
Users won’t get much affected by the transition and would most probably enjoy uninterrupted services. However, connectivity issues can be experienced in rare cases while browsing the participating websites. Users can also check if they would have any impact of transition on their connectivity by visiting one of the many IPv6 test sites available over the internet. In case of detected issues, theIPv6 can be disabled until the issue is solved. The detected issues should be communicated to the ISP’s as they would be fixing the problem.
However, users should not worry about facing any problems as the access to all the sites will be available through IPv4 also. All the sites participating in the transition will provide access over both the versions. IPv6 is introduced in parallel to IPv4 and it will take a very long time before IPv4 is completely discarded as an old technology.