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Today is IPv6 Day, the 24-Hour Test Drive of the New Protocol

Happy IPv6 Day, the Internet is coming to an end! Not really, but IPv4, which stands for Internet Protocol version 4, has all but dried up, as the last IP addresses were handed out some time ago. Luckily, this doesn’t mean the Internet has run into a wall or that no new devices can be connected to the purveyor of funny cat videos and 140-character messages regarding the sandwich someone just ate for lunch — we have IPv6 waiting in the wings and today just so happens to be the day that some of the world’s major organizations will be offering their content over IPv6 as part of a 24-hour test drive. As you can see from the above screenshot, Geekosystem is doing everything it can to participate in IPv6 Day.

Some of the most recognizable organizations that are participating in the test are Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and Limelight Networks. So, if you happen to experience a problem with these services, it is because they are testing out IPv6.

Whereas IPv4 allowed for 4.2 billion IP addresses to be handed out, IPv6 allows for the much larger 340 undecillion, or 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,770,000,000 to be exact, so IPv6 addresses shouldn’t run out anytime soon. Though IPv4 and IPv6 can coexist, they run parallel to each other, and a user on IPv4 cannot, for example, chat with a user using IPv6, so a transition from IPv4 addresses to IPv6 should end up being necessary, in theory, rather than new devices simply using the new protocol and the older devices that got onto IPv4 when it was still available hoarding their IPv4 spaces and feeling especially proud for getting on the Internet “before it was cool.”

If you’re wondering whether or not your connection plays well with IPv6, head on over to this IPv6 “eye chart” to see (ha).

(via ipv6 test, The Washington Post)

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