Looks like IPv6 is about to make a rather big push into the the States as North America has run out of IPv4 addresses (again). This isn’t a repeat from 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, or 2014. Or maybe it is.
This doesn’t really affect most people in any significant fashion as IPv6 is supported by nearly every ISP that hopes to remain in business past today, but it does mean our once easy to remember IPv4 addressing format (EG 188.8.131.52) will becomes a little less easy to remember (such as FE80:0000:0000:0000:0202:B3FF:FE1E:8329 or shorthand FE80::0202:B3FF:FE1E:8329).
Your home routers with your private IP addresses of 192.168.x.x probably aren’t going to have to be changed, but you may have to choose to enable IPv6 addressing on your computers or router, even though everything should have been compatible years ago (but wasn’t). Users who don’t enable IPv6 may start seeing things on the internet soon that they just can’t get to. Maybe not.
The IPv4 format had a maximum address pool of around four billion addresses (with some blocks carved out for private IP ranges,) and now that your coffee pot is connected to the internet we’ve run out of addresses finally. Why couldn’t you just go to Starbucks?
With IPv6 we should be seeing about 340 undecillion usable addresses. That’s 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 addresses, or at least enough for everyone’s coffee pots to be connected with its own unique IP address for the foreseeable future.
Chances are you haven’t even noticed as your ISPs have been scrambling for years to get things set up. Screenshot is from my Sprint connection which was showing IPv4 addresses a couple of weeks ago if I remember correctly.
And if you’ve got a block of IPv4 addresses you’ve been sitting on, might be a good time to investigate selling them as businesses scramble for the old universally supported blocks.
Personally, I have to figure out how to get my Sonicwall to route IPv6 to a DHCP v6 comcast, static IPv4 comcast, and a static IPv4 L3, on a subnet that’s being assigned by a Windows 2003 server. Probably pretty easy if you’ve slept more than two hours at a stretch in the last ten days.