Schools, Google and Facebook testing the new Internet on ‘World IPv6 Day’
The world is running out of Internet addresses. A new system of addresses will fix that and allow you to have an address for every device in the home – your phone, TV, baby monitor, computer, and, with smart labels, even your wine bottles. But will it also break your Internet connection?
Find out tomorrow, 8 June, 2011, when Google, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo and many others turn on their new future-proofed websites using the new address system called IPv6 (Internet protocol version six).
Anyone can test the new sites with a piece of free software available at IPv6Now.com.au. It will help you work out if your home, business, and Internet provider aren’t ready for the new address system.
Two Sydney schools are leading the charge to test the new system: Waverley College and Wollondilly Anglican College.
The IPv6 sites, which run in parallel with the old system (called IPv4), should look and feel the same as any other websites. So students from the two schools will look at major websites over both systems looking for differences, problems and enhancements between the two.
“It’s a bit like the 1990s when Australia moved to ten digit phone numbers,” says Tony Hill, director of IPv6Now – a company assisting Australian businesses to make the transition to the new standard.
“The old IP or address system has 4.3 billion addresses, which seems a lot. But India and China have already run out of these unique numbers, and as we connect more and more computers, smartphones, televisions and other Internet-aware devices we need more addresses.”
“You may have seen the old-style of IP addresses as you connect your home computer to the Internet – 192.168.0.1 for example is an address commonly used with home networks,” he says.
The simplest versions of IPv6 are eight sets of four characters eg 2406:a000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0029 and will increase the number of possible addresses to 2 to the power of 128 or more than a trillion trillion addresses for every person now alive (officially it’s 50 octillion).
With this abundance of IP addresses, anything that currently has a computer chip in it could be allocated its own address — every smartphone could be enabled as a medical monitor, every bottle of wine in a cellar could be monitored for temperature and humidity, and any printer could be hooked up to any other device. Every device can have its own permanent address – making networking much easier.
The new address system requires changes behind the scenes to hardware and software. Search engines, social networking sites and other big tech companies have been working on their IPv6 sites – now they are inviting the public to log on June 8 to put them to the test in the real world.
Old IPv4 sites won’t be shut down anytime soon, but over the next few years IPv6 sites will become dominant so test it out and see if your IT administrators are ready for the revolution.
Tony Hill, Managing Director, IPv6Now, 02 6161-6607, 0412 128-755, tony@IPv6now.com.au,
Kevin Karp, Director and Business Manager, IPv6Now, 02 6161-6607, 0419 421 105, kevin@IPv6now.com.au
Images available here: http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/other/did-the-internet-break-yesterday
Who are IPv6Now?
IPv6Now Pty Ltd is a company founded in July 2007 specialising in IPv6 services, training and consulting. The key staff of IPv6Now have been the people who have led the IPv6 discussion in Australia and contributed Australia’s contribution to international discussions.
Try IPv6 for free: http://ipv6now.com.au/free.php
Differences between IP4 and IP6: http://ipv6now.com.au/primers/benefits.php
IPv6Now website: http://ipv6now.com.au
Key Staff: http://www.ipv6now.com.au/personnel.php