If you are ever really bored, you might amuse yourself by asking the people around you how the internet works. Most of them will shrug or maybe say something about servers. You can mystify them by telling them IPv6 has gone live.
Internet Protocol version 6 is here to replace the creaking IPv4. This isn’t because IPv4 doesn’t work anymore, it’s that the world is running out of IP addresses. No new IP addresses cause a problem for each shiny new tech gadget that rolls off production lines.
There has been a limit to virtual real estate for awhile. Before the launch of IPv6, this problem was solved by sharing IP addresses. The problem with sharing IP addresses is that it’s like developing the suburbs and leaving a two lane road as the only route into town. It slows things down.
IPv6 and IPv4 can’t actually communicate with each other. Don’t panic, you won’t lose access to your cloud data anytime soon. The work of translation is being done by carrier-grade network-address systems (CGN) without you even knowing it. Eventually every new device that connects to the internet will do so using IPv6.
The other reason for updating the internet, other than latency, is to allow for the next era of internet capable devices. Experts believe that, eventually, everything from your dog’s tags to maybe your sneakers will be connected to the internet in order to gather information or communicate preferences in some way. IPv6 makes this possible by vastly increasing the number of IP addresses available.
So rest assured that the internet-connected product designs you’re coming up with will be able to connect to the “internet of things” that has been predicted for more than a decade now.
Below you’ll find a short video that talks about the update.