8 June is World IPv6 Day
The Internet Society (ISOC) is coordinating the efforts of several major internet organisations to promote today's (8 June) World IPv6 Day. The companies involved include Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai, Limelight Networks and many others: the ISOC web site lists a total of 412 participating web sites. All of these, for this one day, have committed to offer their content over IPv6 in what is described as a "test flight". Users whose systems are not able to connect using IPv6 should not notice any difference as their systems should fall back to IPv4 – however, there may be a very small number that experience problems.
One of the main companies involved, Google, stresses on its blog the importance of encouraging all internet organisations to move to IPv6, as "IPv6 is the only long-term solution to IPv4 address exhaustion". The IPv6 specification dates back to 1995, when there was plenty of time left before the world would run out of IPv4 addresses. However, some registries have now run out of IPv4 addresses and others are expected to follow within a few years, making the situation increasingly urgent.
Users wishing to test if they are able to connect using IPv6 are suggested to try out a test page that Google has set up. The company has also published an article to help users understand the issues involved. A different test page, which provides more information than Google's, is recommended by the ISOC.
Another test page worth checking is RIPE's IPv6 Eye Chart, which also tests dual stacked web sites; these are accessible over both IPv4 and IPv6, and include heise.de, the site of The H's associates in Germany. Explanations of the various test results can be found at the bottom of the page.
- The big IPv6 experiment, a report from The H on our own testing.
- The mega network, an earlier feature on IPv6 from The H.