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Happy IPv6 Day! How Internet traffic will soon change forever.

Internet traffic is about to undergo a major change. IPv6 will soon rewrite the inner workings of the Web. But will this overhaul of Internet traffic affect you?

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Participants will run IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously, by "stacking" two types of address records—"A" records and "AAAA" (or Quad-A) records. The A records pair an IPv4 address with a domain name so that, for instance, a user who types Facebook.com into a browser is taken to the correct IP address. Quad-A records do the same, but with IPv6 addresses.

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Google has been running IPv6 for several years, but on different URLs (http://ipv6.google.com/ and http://google.com). By stacking A and Quad-A records, the URL http://google.com will access both IPv6 and IPv4 versions of the home page. Users who can't connect to the IPv6 site will be redirected to the IPv4 site.

One potential technical challenge is "IPv6 brokenness": problems in IPv6 connectivity that prevent users from accessing websites using the newer protocol. When a website such as Google runs two versions of its site for IPv4 and IPv6, it can't properly monitor for brokenness, because users must specifically type in the IPv6 URL to access it. On World IPv6 Day, traffic will be automatically directed to the IPv6 version, which will highlight brokenness and help organizations fix problems.

How will this affect you?

You probably won't notice any difference. ISOC estimates that only 0.05 percent of users will have difficulty accessing websites such as Facebook, Google, or Yahoo on World IPv6 Day. For those unlucky few, the problem may lie with incompatible browsers, routers, or operating systems. Home networks, says ISOC, are likely to cause most connectivity problems. Internet service providers (ISPs) generally have not provided IPv6-capable routers, partly because demand simply hasn't surfaced.

ISOC recommends that users prepare for World IPv6 Day by testing their connectivity via this link. The test tells users whether their browsers are capable of accessing the IPv6 Internet and whether they should anticipate trouble during World IPv6 Day. To further minimize problems, ISOC also urges users to keep current with browser, operating system, and firmware updates, especially for routers and other network equipment.

SOURCE: Technology Review