We are running out of internet, and most of us don't even know it yet.
What is IPv6 and why should I care?
The internet is built upon a protol suite called TCP/IP. This abbreviation stands for
Transmission Control Protocol over Internet Protocol. Whenever your computer communicates with the
internet, a unique IP address is used to transfer and receive information. The old IP standard is
called IPv4. Sadly most ISPs and services still deliver exclusively this ancient technology standardized
in September 1981. What you will want after reading this document is IPv6, or the next-generation
The IP shortage
IPv4 defines a 32-bit address. This gives us 232 (or 4,294,967,296) unique IPv4 addresses
available. While this may sound like a big number, it is not. Think of things on a global scale.
Every website on every server in every network in every country on the face of the planet has to
share this 32-bit address space. Most of this space is already used up and the internet is simply
running out of addresses. At the bottom of this page, you'll see a counter with the current state of
IPv4 address allocation displaying why we need to work quickly.
The wall: Network Address Translation (NAT)
A technology called NAT or Network Address Translation is widely implemented to temporarily solve the
IP address shortage and is commonly used to provide additional network security. A NAT firewall is
placed between the real Internet and local area networks. NAT allows computers on the local network
to access computers on the outside world, but because the machineson the local network do not have
their own internet IPs, they cannot be directly accessed from the outside. This becomes a problem if
your organization runs servers that need to be accessed remotely without complex port forwarding
rulesets that don't always work, or for multiple servers requiring the same ports to be forwarded.
Some VERY big numbers
If we accept the only benefit of IPv6 being the size of the address space we'll quickly be able to
gauge the enormous benefit of deploying IPv6 wihin your organization.
Compare the numbers:
- Total number of IPv4 Addresses: 4,294,967,296
- Total number of IPv6 Addresses: 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456
The typical home user is delegated a /64 prefix in the IPv6 address space giving you
18,446,744,073,709,551,616 usable addresses - That's the equivilant of the entire IPv4 address
space SQUARED. The entire IPv6 address space gives approximately 667 quadrillion address per square
MILLIMETER of the earth's surface! That's a large address pool.
Are there any other benefits to IPv6?
As it just so happens, there are. Due to the state of the current IPv4 internet, most addresses
are dynamically assigned by your ISP and then reclaimed at a later time. This made perfect sense in
the era of dial-up internet as a user was only connected for a short time. However, this begins to
cause headaches in the now-prevalent era of always-on internet (DSL/Cable, etc). For instance,
We (GooRoo Inc) maintain your server. If you do not have a static IP address assigned to you, and
we need remote access to your network, we must first attempt to determine your external IPv4 public
address. Next we need to determine your private internal IPv4 NAT address. Next we need to determine
the service running on your server that we need to access (usually Remote Desktop, running on port 3389).
Next we need to ensure that your router allows port forwarding so that a connection made to your public
address to the port needed is masqueraded properly to forward the traffic to your internal office machine.
If this isn't the case, then we need to schedule a service call to either reconfigure your router
or require that you purchase a router that supports the required network configuration. With IPv6, none
of this is neccessary. We simply connect to the IPv6 address of your machine and do what is required.
This also does not require your IPv4 address to be statically assigned. Your IPv6 address should be
accessable regardless of what your IPv4 address is, meaning it is theoretically possible (and is used
in several situations in practice) to have an IPv6 address on, say, your laptop. Use your IPv6 address
at your office. Leave your office, stop at a restaurant for lunch, surfing their free wifi, head back
to your office, then leave, head home, and never once have your IPv6 address change!
What does this mean for me?
We at GooRoo can allocate you a subnet of addresses from one of our own /64 prefixes to ensure
connectivity from the IPv6 internet, as well as configure and support the links. This will allow you
access to certain IPv6-only websites and services, as well as ease administration costs on your servers.
Clients configured via our eBlvd service can switch to our IPv6 based services for a reduced monthly fee.
Clients with needlessly complex port-forwarding setups can be configured to allow GooRoo remote access
to your servers for near-immediate response time in the case of a problem.
How do I get it?
That's the easy part. Just send us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 919.617.2025. We'll be glad to schedule an appointment to discuss whether or
not IPv6 is right for you.