IPv4 (Internet Protocol) addresses are what are used to connect multiple computers together to form the internet. Like a telephone number, each device on the internet has a unique IPv4 address, and traffic comes to you via your own IP address on the internet.
An IPv4 address looks like this:
This system has worked well for a long time, but unfortunately, there’s now a bit of a problem with IPv4 addresses - namely that the world is running out! That’s right - there is a global, worldwide shortage of IPv4 address space.
Because IPv4 addresses are running out, many ISPs now use various methods to conserve IPv4 addresses - but these can mean extra costs to you and sometimes introduce other issues.
IPv6 is the successor to IPv4, and it has been in planning since the late 1990s, when worldwide IPv4 depletion was first anticipated. An IPv6 address looks like this:
IPv6 works much the same as IPv4, but the addresses are much longer, and allow for many, many more possible addresses. (The actual number is 3.4×1038, or 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 total possible addresses.)
This means that everyone can once again have their own unique address on the internet!
Once set up, running IPv6 doesn’t change how you can use the internet, the sites you can visit, or require you do anything different.
Infact, IPv6 has been specially and carefully designed so that when properly deployed on a network, most people won’t even notice that they are using a completely new IPv6 address!
As the world moves towards global IPv6 adoption, more and more sites and services will become IPv6-only, meaning that if you stay on IPv4, you’ll eventually be left behind.
As good internet citizens, it’s part of our civic duty to get behind worldwide efforts to adopt IPv6 - something you can now be at the forefront of!
Lastly, there are also performance benefits to IPv6. So you’ll not only be at the cutting edge of IPv6 worldwide, but you’ll be doing it slightly faster, too.
Great question. For most routers, it is as simple as enabling the
IPv6 DHCP-PD (Prefix Delegation) option in your router - and IPv6 will do the rest.
We’ve put together some getting-started guides for some popular routers and equipment below:
If your router is not in the list above, please get in touch with your router manufacturer or consult your router’s user manual for instructions on enabling IPv6 DHCP-PD in your device.
This is a list of routers we’ve come across which don’t support IPv6. If you currently use one of these routers you’ll need to upgrade your router in the near future.
NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list, these are just a few we regularly come across.