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Now and then there is "news" about that the IP numbers will run out in X years, and we must change to TCP/IP v6...

And even though this crisis never really happens it has waken a question, how do you get started with TCP/IP v6? What do I need to change in my home network?

And if I start to use IPv6 in my LAN, what are pros and cons, and do you think it is a good idea?

Can you use IPv4 and IPv6 in the same cables in the same LAN, or do you need to physically separate them?

Can you have some translation box so you can reach the "normal" Internet from the IPv6 connected devices? (Just like a NAT-Router.)

Can someone please clarify the situation a little bit?


Thanks ChrisF for pointing out that it's OK to run IPv4 and IPv6 in parallel.

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Related: superuser.com/questions/103234/… –  Gnoupi May 16 '10 at 21:05

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

IPv6 is a "new" (for various definitions of "new") protocol. It has no physical manifestation, so doesn't need new wires etc.

It's quite old (in computing terms), but has only recently become mainstream due to the imminent exhaustion of IPv4 addresses. It took a while to take off as IPv4 was "good enough" for virtually all cases until now.

It needs new software to be running on your computer, but that will come with operating system updates or programs (such as FTP clients, BitTorrent clients etc.) that you install as you need them.

The IPv4 and IPv6 pages on Wikipedia are probably a good a place as any to start.

It's analogous to the situation in the UK a few years ago when they decided that they were running out of phone numbers and added a "1" into everybody's STD code (apart from a few places that got a whole new STD number and an extra digit added to their phone number. No new equipment was needed, just a change to the software running the network.

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I don't know if it's a "new" protocol - IPv6 has existed (in paper form at least) since 1998. Admittedly 12 years later it's only just starting to become mainstream. –  Mark Henderson May 17 '10 at 5:32
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well, it is newer than IPv4... –  David Z May 17 '10 at 6:27
    
@Farseeker & @David. Point taken about the "new". I'll update the answer. –  ChrisF May 17 '10 at 10:22
    
+1 for the analogy, I think that describes it well in non-technical terms. –  Sasha Chedygov May 18 '10 at 5:58

First of all, neither it is a crisis (a replacement is readily available) and it will happen this year already. That is, the last /8 subnet will be allocated then.

Anyway, IPv4 and IPv6 can coexist quite well and for the most part this is transparent to the user. In fact, at least on Windows all recent versions actually have both IPv4 and IPv6 enabled and working by default.

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Depends on what you want to do - If you want to access IPV6 services easily, you can use teredo or miredo on windows- however performancewise this is terrible, and you don't have a global ipv6 address- generally the other options are better

If you want to run a router that gives out global ipv6 addresses, you'd need a tunnel broker - hurricane electric is the one most people recommend.

If you need to run one or more ipv6 services with an easy to set up tunnel broker or a proper ipv6 client with good performance, i recommend freenet6 - you'd need to sign up for a gogonet account if you want a static ip and install the tunnel broker client - there's a thread on serverfault on how to set up the client to automatically start on linux, and the windows client is easy to set up- this is what i recommend for a newbie.

I'd also throw sixxs into the fray - they're supposed to be very low latency, but good luck getting an account - you need to be 10ms from a POP and have a 'real', non free e mail addie. They do run a series of services for ipv6 users such as tunnels.

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