You've heard about it for years, and now it's real: IPv6. What is it? Well, to the average person, the shift doesn't mean much. You can certainly continue on with your day without fretting over this, and everything will be just fine. But for those who really want to know, you'll be interested in understanding how the new Internet Standard works. Starting this week, IPv6 will enable the web to grow, allowing the global network to have "more room" than before. The switch already happened, with Internet operators transitioned to a new standard called IPv6 that allows for trillions of "IP" numbers or addresses, up from the current 4.3 billion.
The AFP managed to get a few quotes that do a solid job of explaining what's going on: "To ensure the Internet can continue to grow and connect billions more people and devices around the world, thousands of companies and millions of websites have now permanently enabled the next generation of Internet Protocol (IPv6) for their products and services," the Internet Society, an advisory panel, said.
"Participants in World IPv6 Launch include the four most visited websites in the world -- Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Yahoo! -- as well as home router manufacturers and Internet Service Providers in more than 100 countries. By making IPv6 the 'new normal,' these companies are enabling millions of end users to enjoy its benefits without having to do anything themselves."
It's wild that the Internet now serves some 2.5 billion people and 11 billion devices around the globe, and IPv6 is a move made to avoid "running out room." Will there be hiccups? Perhaps, but we've learned a lot since the Y2K days.