Today is World IPv6 Launch Day! June 6, 2012 is the go-live date in the worldwide plan to convert to the new expanded Internet Protocol (IP) addressing system known as IP version 6 (IPv6) and transition away from the limited IPv4 (version 4) addressing.

What is IPv6?

Just like a phone number helps you communicate with another phone, an IP address (short for Internet Protocol address) is provided to your computer so it can communicate with websites, Internet services, and other devices. IP addresses are numbers that are displayed as strings of letters or numbers.

You are probably familiar with the IPv4 addressing, such as IPv4 is anachronistic because the internet has run out of IP addresses. IPv4 provides the capacity for 4 billion internet addresses, which is not enough to feed the demand for IP addresses for the multiple gadgets we each generally have, let alone supply IP addresses for China, India, etc.

IPv6 offers an expanded alphanumeric format, for example 2001:db8::1234:ace:6006:1e. In IPv6 the possibility is for 340 trillion trillion trillion IP addresses.

Is that all? That’s 4,000,000,000 addresses in IPv4 to a capacity of 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in IPv6. Now that’s a load of Apples! (And Droids, tablets, cars, toasters, coffee makers, baby monitors, garage doors, and don’t forget homes, schools, and offices…) O happy day!

Who’s already supporting IPv6?

Major websites are permanently enabling IPv6 starting 6 June 2012 at 0000 UTC on their main websites:,,, and will all be reachable over IPv6 from that time.

Test your IPv6 connectivity.

Try a test, go to

What do I do?

If you are a regular user of internet, there’s nothing critical you must do today, except to be aware and encourage the transition. Transition is inevitable, and IPv6 will be more secure. Until we are fully converted over to IPv6, there is a dual system where both IPv4 and IPv6 are valid. Legacy IPv4 hardware will continue to run, but in the future anything new should require to use and buy IPv6-compatible products. If you want to convert your home or office, contact your ISP. Watch the video of Vint Cerf, Google IPv6 Evangelist, to learn more.

For service providers…

If you provide service for website operations, network operations, internet service providers, and home routers, then join in the launch and migrate to IPv^ if you have not done so already. Register and show your support at the IPv6 World Launch website.

About The Author

Sandra Giger is a Blast correspondent

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