Question of the Month

Question of the Month

Dennis Snider

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Question: What is IPv6?

Answer:
Every device that’s connected to the Internet has its own Internet protocol (IP) address. At the moment, the IP system is running Version 4 (IPv4), which provides more than 4 billion IP addresses. As more and more people are connecting to the Internet, many with multiple devices, eventually all these available addresses will soon be snapped up.

The new generation protocol, IPv6, will offer 340 undecillion (340 followed by 36 zeroes) addresses, an almost incomprehensible number that should ensure the world won’t run out of IP addresses for many, many years to come.

The transition to the new system should not disrupt Internet and online services. The majority of personal computers and devices already support IPv6. Nevertheless, it is not supported by numerous routers and servers, making connecting with the new addresses difficult.

Providers of Internet services will be implementing measures to ensure that IPv4 addresses are still supported, but it’s important that the switch to the new addresses is made as quickly and efficiently as possible, as sticking with IPv4 will increasingly mean slower services, poor communications, and compromised security.

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