Wednesday, February 6, 2008

IPv6 and what it means for me...

Let's chat about something different from online gaming but with an equally interesting development - IPv6. IPv6 means Internet Protocol version 6. For those techies, I bet you know a lot more about IPv6 than I do. For those non-techies, IPv6 is somewhat the next version of the internet addressing standards. We're using (most of us anyways) IPv4 standards currently, but this way of addressing may not be sufficient in the future. It's like phone numbers, and when more people need phone numbers, we may need to introduce longer phone numbers, e.g. 4 digit number could serve at best 10,000 (0000 - 9999) people. To serve the 10,001th person, everyone got to convert to a 5 digit phone number.

There is also a lot of prediction about when IPv6 will come, and a lot of counter arguments about why it wouldn't be so soon, e.g. introduction of NATs. ICANN seems to have more and more statements to promote take-up of IPv6, while there are also more talks about IPv6 take-up. But let's leave that to the crystal-ball gazers... and the worrying to the different governments / corporations.

For layman like you and me, IPv6 may mean the following:

a) more devices with IP addresses, i.e. Internet addresses, and so more devices connected to the Internet anytime, anywhere in more mobile fashion?

b) potential trouble with my existing hardware - do I need to change or buy anything new?

c) potential trouble with my software - do I need to 'switch' on anything?

d) fragmented Internet such that I can't surf particular sites, or the sites may look different somehow?

Can't think of any others for now, which also mean that for normal consumers like you and me, the IPv6 issues may not be truly exciting. For the corporations and governments maybe, but for us we may just need less trouble. Guess I should switch back to chat about online gaming haa.

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