World IPv6 Launch

World IPv6 Launch: 6 June 2012
Major Internet service providers (ISPs), home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services by 6 June 2012.


The next-generation Internet technology called IPv6, vastly more accommodating than its predecessor IPv4, began arriving for a small but significant fraction of Internet users today.
What is IPv6 ?

IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is a version of the Internet Protocol (IP) intended to succeed IPv4, which is the communications protocol currently used to direct almost all Internet traffic. IPv6 will allow the Internet to support many more devices by greatly increasing the number of possible addresses.


The Internet operates by transferring data between hosts in packets that are routed across networks as specified byrouting protocols. These packets require an addressing scheme, such as IPv4 or IPv6, to specify their source and destination. Each host, computer or other device on the Internet must be assigned an IP address in order to communicate. The growth of the Internet has created a need for more addresses than are possible with IPv4, which allows 32 bits for an IP address, and therefore has 232 (4 294 967 296) possible addresses. IPv6, which was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to deal with this long-anticipated IPv4 address exhaustion, uses 128-bit addresses, allowing 2128 (approximately 3.4×1038) addresses. This expansion can accommodate vastly more devices and users on the internet as well as providing greater flexibility in allocating addresses and efficiency for routing traffic.

At present, most devices globally are running on the 27-year old 'IPv4', which uses 32-bit addresses limiting the IP address space to about 4.3 billion possible unique addresses. However, IPv6 will use 128-bit addresses, thereby making available in almost infinite pool of such unique IP addresses.