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Is the Internet Ready for IPv6?   no comments

Posted at Feb 15, 2011 @ 12:07pm Web hosting

Back in September of 2010, we posted an article about IPV6, the new IP address protocol that may cause some real problems for online businesses. Here we are in the beginning of 2011, and the last of the IPv4 addresses have been released, and businesses still don’t seem too concerned about updating their properties. This could spell real disaster come September.

“It just isn’t No. 1 on the radar scope — good or bad, it just isn’t,” said Alan Shark, executive director of the Public Technology Institute (PTI), a nonprofit that focuses on using IT to improve government services. Why is this? Well, there have been a few scares over the past few years, times when we thought IPv4 would run out, but then innovative solutions staved off the inevitable for a little longer. This time, it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting a reprieve, and people who are waiting for one should take a second look.

For those who don’t know, IP addresses are the numeric addresses assigned to every single solitary device that connects to the internet. That means personal computers, phones, iPads, routers, networked gaming consoles—everything. IPv4 addresses are compatible with other IPv4 addresses—they can communicate smoothly and without hiccups. However, IPv6 addresses are not necessarily so compatible. In order to make the two compatible, Internet providers need to upgrade their routing infrastructure, set up special software and configure their network to properly direct the new addresses. If your provider is doing this, you’re all set. If your provider isn’t doing this, you need to make sure they do, or find a new provider (just as an aside, TurnKey Internet is completely IPv6 compatible).

Some observers are making the comparison between the IPv6 scare and Y2K, the vastly out-of-proportion panic we all experienced before the turn of the millennium. “The computers will all go down at once,” they said. “It’ll be bedlam!” they cried. It wasn’t. Y2K was the technological community’s version of crying wolf, and its set us all up for trouble. It looks like a lot of federal agencies aren’t taking IPv6 seriously for this very reason, and their infrastructures may suffer the consequences.

Come September, you’ll be happy you investigated this back in February, as businesses race to update at the last minute or go down and lose customers, and glitches on government websites bring federal business to its knees. Hopefully there won’t be any real dangers to personal safety. Profits, on the other hand, are another story.

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Written by admin on February 15th, 2011

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