Today, Google And Major Internet Companies Are Turning On Their IPv6 Tap

An illustration of an example IPv6 address

Google and other major Internet companies are going to turn on their IPv6 capability on June 6th of 2012.  They all agree and think that IPv4 will be running out of IP addresses very soon.  When IPv4 runs out of IP addresses, the Internet will be limited to only 4 billions, roughly around this number, Internet connected devices.  Nonetheless, we should know that IPv4 can only run out of IP addresses for real if only if all IPv4 IP addresses are online at the same time.  Still, the human population is already 7 billion plus, therefore when enough people out there want to have their own mobile devices — and at home they all want smart home devices that may carry IP addresses — the Internet will definitely choke when IPv4 has no IP address left to distribute.  Instead of limiting to only 4 billion plus IP addresses, IPv6 is capable of distributing 340 trillion trillion trillion IP addresses.  This is some gigantic number that I don’t think I will ever get my head to wrap around it, but the computers won’t mind!!!  Anyhow, IPv6 ensures that the Internet will be able to handle just about any device that wants to connect to the Internet, because it has so much IP addresses to give out at any one time.  Even if everyone of us on the planet earth will have at least one Internet connected device, IPv6 is still going to chuck along as if it is eating a Sundae Ice Cream.  Nonetheless, we are prophetically sure that the future, each and everyone of us will have not only one but many more Internet connected devices.  Check out the video right after the break to see one of the Internet founding fathers, Vint Cerf, talks about why we are desperately needed to use IPv6.

Source:  http://www.google.com/intl/en/ipv6/

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IPV6 Won’t Use NAT And Other Private Features, Requiring Firewall To Protect IPV6 IP Addresses From Prying Eyes

IPV6 was all the rage couple months ago, but we haven’t heard much about it now.  Nonetheless, don’t think for a second that IPV6 won’t come!  I think it will come slowly, but it will be here eventually.  Noticeably, people won’t be able to use IPV6 if their ISPs aren’t yet ready!

Fortunately, responsible ISPs will definitely roll out newer firmwares to update customers’ routers/gateways so IPV6 will be supported.  In the worse case scenario, customers may have to demand for newer routers/gateways from their ISPs before IPV6 will be enabled in their home/office networks.

Not only the routers/gateways have to be IPV6 enabled, each user’s computer must be configured to support IPV6.  I’d read somewhere that IPV6 will expose all internal devices to the Internet, because IPV6’s IP distribution is more tied to the world than not (i.e., there are countless more IP addresses from IPV6 than IPV4).  To put this in a clearer context for some people, IPV6 forgoes NAT and other private features.  NAT stands for Network Address Translation where it acts as a barrier and correlation between public IP addresses and private network IP addresses (e.g., 192.168.x.x).  This is why people definitely have to learn how to enabling firewall for IPV6 so their devices’ IP addresses won’t be exposed.

Customers who are relying on premium security suites from well known brands might not have to do much for them to have a functioning IPV6 firewall, because newer updates to their security suite software will come with active IPV6 firewall, I guess.  Linux users on the other hand might have to get down and dirty.  I’m not sure if Linux users can clone IPV4’s iptables to protect their IPV6’s network.  The user space application program for IPV6’s Linux kernel firewall has to be ip6tables.  I’m definitely going to look more into how to enable firewall for IPV6 in Linux.

Update:  Apparently, I don’t think it’s hard to enable IPV6 firewall in certain Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 11.04!  As long Uncomplicated Firewall is enabled in such Linux distributions and the users know how to use UFW, then they can easily configure UFW to protect their devices on IPV6 network.  UFW has a graphical version which is known as Gufw, and so it should be a lot easier to use the Gufw than the command line version UFW.  For your information UFW/Gufw is very easy to use, because I’ve tested UFW/Gufw on Ubuntu 11.04.  I’ve found UFW/Gufw to be simple and more intuitive than most Linux’s frontend programs for iptables/ip6tables.

Click here to go to the screenshot’s source!

Are You Ready For IPv6? Major Web Destinations Will Switch To IPv6 Later Today For A Test Run!

Through months of preparation, several largest web players in the known web will turn on their IPV6 networks around 8:00 p.m. eastern standard time or 5 p.m. pacific time today.  They will feed large portions of data of their web services through IPv6 networks to test and see how the new web protocol will hold up, because IPv6 has never been tested and launched in a major way before.  I figure more than enough people may experience IPv6 disruption as they cannot surf to their favorite websites such as Yahoo.

I don’t think the problems will be the faults of these gigantic web services (i.e., Yahoo, Google, Facebook, etc…), but the problems are the faults of the web visitors.  Old routers and weird computer configuration (i.e., network customization) may prevent them from surfing to major IPv6 web destinations.  Nonetheless, this is only one day test, I think.  It should not be a big deal for short time being, but it’s really a big deal as more companies are going to turn on their IPv6 networks or abandon IPv4 altogether in the long run.

Just to be honest, I can be totally wrong since major web services are going to go dual stack.  Dual stack means companies will implement both IPv4 and IPv6 at the same time, and so people should be able to visit these major web services in anyway.  Well, at least I might be wrong in the short term, but everyone knows that applying dual stack isn’t cheap.  Probably more headaches than necessary when huge companies have to implement dual stack, I think.  Anyhow, today is the day to see how IPv6 will play out in large scale.

Usually, if you don’t mess around with your Windows 7’s network setting much, then IPv6 should be enabled by default.  Now, if you had IPv6 disabled sometimes ago, then you should reenable it.  How to do that?  Go to Control Panel >> Network and Internet >> Network and Sharing Center, and then right click on your network adapter, choose Properties (i.e., if my memory serves me well), and then make sure a check mark is inside the box next to Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).  Click OK and you should be set.

If you still have a problem of making IPv6 works for you even though your computer has been enabled with IPv6, then you may want to scrutinize your router for issues.  You can also call up your ISP to help you figure out your IPv6 problem.  If your ISP is the one who had provided you the router in the first place, then you can always ask them to upgrade you to a newer router that can support IPv6.  I don’t think a good ISP will charge you a fee for an up-to-date router, but I have been wrong before!  Anyhow, good luck in playing with IPv6 today!  So, don’t forget to turn on your computer around the time of the launch of IPv6 and try to visit major websites such as Yahoo to test out your network’s IPv6 compatibility.  Good luck!

Source:  http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20069841-264/ipv6-day-kicking-the-tires-of-a-next-gen-net-today/http://www.networkworld.com/news/tech/2007/090507-tech-uodate.html

How To Simplify IPV6 Addresses And How To Revert Them Back To Their Original Forms

Quoting from Wikipedia:

IPv6 addresses are written in eight groups of four hexadecimal digits separated by colons, for example, 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334. IPv6 addresses are logically divided into two parts: a 64-bit (sub-)network prefix, and a 64-bit interface identifier.  Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6

As you can see, when everyone is fully switching over to IPV6, the IP addresses of IPV6 have to be grouped in 8 groups of four hexadecimal digits.  It’s a lot longer than the IPV4.  Also, you can simplify the IPV6 addresses by replacing the groups that has four zeros with two colons (i.e, ::), but you cannot do that more than one time.  We can also call two colons simply as a double colon.  OK, to be crystal clear, I mean you can only simplifying IPV6 addresses’ contiguous groups of four zeros with double colon one time only.  To make this even more clear, I show you some examples:

Example #1 ~ Simplifying:  2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334 — Correct:  2001:odb8:85a3::8a2e:0370:7334 — Incorrect:  21:db8:85a3::8a2e:37:7334

Example #2 ~ Simplifying:  2001:0000:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334 — Correct:  2001:0000:85a3::8a2e:0370:7334 — Incorrect:  2001::85a3::8a2e:0370:7334

The examples above point out that only contiguous groups of four zeros of IPV6 addresses can be replaced by one double colon (i.e., two colons).  Why is that?  It’s because when one wants to reverse the simplified examples back into the original forms, using the double colon once in the IPV6 simplifying process helps one figures out the original forms of IPV6 addresses easier.  To figure out how to do just that, one needs to count the available groups, use 8 groups minus the available groups, and time that by 16.  Why you have to time 16?  Each group of IPV6 addresses represents 16 bits.  The total bits for IPV6 addresses equate to 128 bits — take eight groups time 16 bits.

An example of how to revert the simplifying form of IPV6 address back into its original form ~ Simplifying form:  2001:odb8:85a3::8a2e:0370:7334 — We can see that there are 6 original groups and a double colon (i.e., two colons), the math is going to be ((8-6)*16) which equates to 32 bits that are being simplified.  Also, we can just use (8-6) and we know there are two groups that are being simplified — that translates into two groups of contiguous groups of zeros, so we just need to replace the double colon with 16 bits of zeros per group (i.e., 0000:0000).  The original form of this specific IPV6 address is 2001:odb8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.

Why IPV6 addresses have 128 bits?  IPV6 addresses have bigger bits in total to allow more groups of bits to be arranged in unique orders so we can have larger range of IP addresses than IPV4 addresses.  After all, IPV4 addresses have only 32 bits.

Sometimes, you’ll see geeks who wear t-shirts that say ::1, but you don’t know the meaning of that.  ::1 means it’s an IPV6 Loopback address.  Remember, IPV4 has several Loopback addresses too, and those are 127.0.0.1 and whatever addresses in the range of 127.0.0.0 – 127.255.255.255.  What are Loopback IP addresses?  These Loopback IP addresses won’t route your data outside of your local network, because these IP addresses are special IP addresses that meant to be used locally only.  For IPV6, it has only one Loopback IP address which is 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1, and we can simplify it down to ::1 (i.e., replacing all contiguous groups of zeros with a double colon).  Now when you see a geek who wears a t-shirt that says ::1, you’ll know what it means!

Willing To Make A Switch To IPV6 Yet?

IPV4 is making headline again, but for a bad reason!  According to some, IPV4 is at 98% capacity which means when IPV4 reaches 100%, the people who dispense IPV4 for businesses and home networks won’t be able to do so.  Sometimes in the future, IPV6 is the only way for one to browse the Internet and the only way for a company to host a website.  That sometimes in the future I fear are going to be around the corner if the Internet is going to grow at an even faster rate.

Maybe at first, many businesses are going to configure their devices and software and firmware to be compatible with both IPV4 and IPV6 at the same time, but in the long run many businesses might prefer to utilize only IPV6 since it’s a headache to deal with both protocols at the same time.  When that time arrives, home users who do not have IPV6 network may not be able to browse these businesses’ websites such as Google.  Vice versa, businesses are going to be very hesitated about switching to IPV6 only in fear of losing customers.

It’s like a tug of war robe game that kids love to play, but the winner in Internet protocol tug of war isn’t going to be the one who lasts longer on keeping ground, instead it’s the one who gives in first will be the winner.  If the businesses are going to go IPV6 only, ISPs and their customers must switch over to IPV6.  Vice versa is also true.

Do you think your home network is IPV6 capable?  Try to talk to your ISP about it!  Google about IPV6 and learn about it if you have plenty of time on your hand and you are curious enough about IPV6.  Also, you can visit test-ipv6.com to see if your network is IPV6 compatible.

Source.