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IPv6 - Internet Protocol version 6

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Introduction

IPv6 is the next generation of the Internet Protocol, the protocol that makes the entire Internet work. The main advantage of IPv6 over the original Internet Protocol (IPv4) is that there are over 2^128 IPv6 addresses (compared to only 2^32 IP addresses). There are other advantages too, such as easier multicast.

Why IPv6?

The Internet has grown rapidly in popularity since the original ARPAnet. As of early 2011, the final IPv4 blocks have been allocated by IANA to the regional Internet registries (RIRs). APNIC, the registry responsible for Asia's IP assignments, expects to run out of IPv4 addresses by the middle of the year. Without a plan for future growth, Internet connected devices may find themselves being placed behind a NAT in order to continue functioning.

Linux support for IPv6

Linux 2.6 has excellent support for IPv6, both at the user level and at the kernel level. If the network administrator has radvd installed on the network, embedded Linux devices can automatically determine their IPv6 addresses and routing tables without the need to additional configuration.

Setting up an IPv6 network at home

he.net, as well as others, have a tunnel broker service that will allow you to route IPv6 over your existing IPv4 Internet connection. Apple's AirPort Extreme, as well as custom versions of the WRT firmware, will allow you to set up radvd and IPv6 tunneling on your home router through the Web interface. he.net also provides commands that you can copy and paste into your terminal to configure IPv6 access on your local machine, once the tunnel has been set up.