Wednesday, June 8, 2011

World IPv6 Day: Tom's Hardware participates

Today is "World Day IPv6, a large-scale test of IPv6 technology. For 24 hours, 8 June, several large companies - including Tom's Hardware - will activate an IPv6 version of their websites to verify if IPv6 works in "real life". To see if this limited deployment of IPv6 does not pose problems, Google has a page dedicated: http://ipv6test.

google. com /. On the latter, the company says if it is IPv6 (even if you know a priori) and this large-scale test will cause problems. Without going into technical details, IPv6 is a new standard intended to replace - it is not directly compatible - IPv4. Indeed, the system of allocating IP was designed in the 70s and was coded on 32 bits, which can offer about 4 billion addresses.

At the time, nobody thought there would one day have as many machines connected to the Internet, which is quite logical. With IPv6, we pass a 32-bit addressing on a 128 bit address, which will allow for growing: with 2128 addresses, it is possible to allocate 667 million billion addresses for each mm ² on the ground .

The main problem of IPv6 is its compatibility. Indeed, the new standard is not directly compatible with the old and it is therefore necessary that all elements of the chain supporting IPv6 to make it work. And the chain is long: there are the applications, operating system, the modem (or equivalent) and the intermediate network equipment, phone operator and of course the remote site.

A simple example applications: the browser. If Internet Explorer is compatible game from version 4.01, it was not until version 7.0 for full support. Firefox, a browser other famous, is compatible since version 1.5. On the widely used applications, IPv6 is generally supported in the latest versions, but it is obviously possible that the software developed by small teams or individuals do not take into account the standard.

At the operating system, if not too old, it should work. A Linux distribution with kernel 2.6. x should not be a problem, and for Mac OS X, IPv6 is the game from version 10.3 (Panther). On Windows, it depends on the version. With Windows 2000, support is experimental, while Windows XP, still widely used, requires the installation of a stack IPv6, which is independent of the IPv4 stack.

Windows Vista and 7, Microsoft has integrated a stack capable of working in IPv4 and IPv6 support is complete. In mobile devices, IOS, Symbian and Windows Mobile 6. x although IPv6 support, while Windows 7 Phone and Android seem to have more trouble with support only on Wi-Fi on it. For access points and switches, professional models usually support IPv6.

In consumer devices, terminals and Apple D-Link are often compatible and devices that can use OpenWRT or DD-WRT (the alternative firmware) are too. Overall, if you intend to work in IPv6, it is important to verify that network devices supporting the standard. For telecom operators, is a bit more complicated.

Nerim, Free and few others offer IPv6 offers an option for even the general public, at least if the modem supports it. Two big as Orange and SFR to offer IPv6, but only to professionals. Orange should go to IPv6 by 2012 (with a new Livebox) and SFR should test for the general public this summer.

Numericable should be able to offer IPv6 natively in areas where the DOCSIS 3.0 is deployed, although the company has not announced anything yet. Finally, and this is precisely the interest of the day "World Day IPv6", Internet sites must support IPv6. Today, sites like Google, Facebook, Orange Business or Tom's Hardware will then verify that the IPv6 network "works" by serving the IPv6 default users, before version IPv4.

If all goes well, people should have access to IPv6 IPv6 and IPv4 people (majority) in the IPv4. The main problem that will arise in the future is the mass of equipment "connected" on the market today. Televisions, smart phones, industrial equipment, computers can not be updated, etc.. does not necessarily support IPv6 and an update is unlikely.

In practice, the coexistence of IPv4 and IPv6 (and all its problems) is expected to last very long. One last thing: If you have problems accessing sites that participate in the IPv6 World Day, enter it in comments.

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