Well, 6th June and World IPv6 Day is upon us!
What does that mean exactly? Well for Fido, not a great deal as we’ve already been providing IPv6 addresses as standard for over 2 years, and have supported IPv6 in our network in one shape or another since inception in 2001.
For customers however, this should definitely be a wake up call, if you don’t currently have an IPv6 address assigned to your website then you should talk to us about ensuring that one is assigned, and that you’re using it – and know what it means. IPv4 addresses have just about been exhausted. Certain parts of the world can now only be reached on IPv6, and that is going to become more and more the norm over the next few years.
The old IPv4 address scheme (x.x.x.x) has had a long life, and there are still efforts to extend that life with additional support mechanisms, Carrier Grade NAT, 6to4 gateways and so forth – but this really does break the spirit of the Internet and what it was designed to be! The Internet is a living, breathing creature and all devices connected to the Internet are meant to be accessible by all other devices. This of course brings security concerns, and you do need to ensure that you have the correct firewalls in place (note NAT has never been a true firewall and there have always been black hat ways of circumventing the limited protection NAT brings).
Newer IPv6 addresses (which look like 2a01:2c0:a:307::19) provide many many more addresses than there are atoms in the universe. This theoretically means that we should never again run out of IP addresses – no matter that we have given one to every device in our house, office, supermarket, bar and holiday home!
Enabling IPv6 on any existing web hosting or VPS with us is a simple case of raising a support ticket asking that we do so. Adding IPv6 to your dedicated servers is almost as simple, again raise a support ticket, but you will also need to perform some minor configuration work on your server – our engineers will make sure this goes smoothly and will provide you with any / all information you need to make this as simple as possible.
If you have Broadband from Fido, then you already have an IPv6 address (actually a /48 which is millions of addresses, enough for your fridge, microwave, tv, vacuum cleaner, oh and of course the phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, PS3, etc!). We already ship IPv6 capable routers like the Thomson TG582n, and are constantly looking out for new routers (CPE) which support IPv6. Draytek have recently released the 2850 router which supports ADSL, VDSL, 3G and IPv6. These are available from our online store for a very reasonable £175 plus VAT (over 10% off SRP). (802.11n version – the 2850n for £195 plus VAT).