What is IPv6?

What’s the internet protocol?

The Internet operates by moving data across networks. To communicate, each device connected to the Internet must be identified by an Internet Protocol (IP) address.

We’ve been using the fourth version of the internet protocol (IPv4) which was designed to support experimental research and government communications but not for the global, public Internet we know today.

What’s IPv6?

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) handed out its last IPv4 addresses in February 2011. IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Taskforce to replace IPv4 and become the new norm for IP addresses creating 2¹²⁸ unique addresses.

IPv6 addresses compared - table

Adoption of IPv6 is important for the long-term health of the internet. For the near future, IPv4 and IPv6 will be used alongside each other requiring devices and protocols to accommodate both protocols.

At the moment, approximately one-third of internet traffic in Australia is using IPv6 compared to 99% for IPv4.

What can you do?

There are a few things you can do to get started with using IPv6:

  1. Make sure that all your new IT equipment is capable of using IPv6. Even if you are not fully moving to IPv6 today, your equipment must be IPv6-ready or you may need to upgrade or repurchase devices later.

  2. You can make your own website and content available over IPv6. Many web hosting providers offer IPv6 and some even provide it at a reduced rate compared to IPv4.

Want to read more?

In our region, APNIC – the regional internet registry for Asia-Pacific - is a leading advocate for the adoption of IPv6, including in Australia. Through outreach, training and tutorials they encourage local network operators to move to IPv6. Their materials can be read here. https://www.apnic.net/community/ipv6/

IPv6 ;aunch button

Leading carriers and internet access providers in Australia have now moved to IPv6 too and offer so-called ‘dual-stack’ IPv6 and IPv4 connections. You can read about their stories: • NBNTelstraInternode

Technical specifications