To “use” an IPv6 address, you’ll want to connect to IPv6-enabled services. When connecting to IPv4 addresses, your IPv4 address will be used. (There are some exception like IPv4/6 transition techniques, but those aren’t relevant for end-users.)
To connect to IPv6 services like
google.com, you’ll need the following:
- An IPv6 address
- A DNS server that returns AAAA records (IPv6 addresses)
- IPv6-enabled software (all major browsers today)
If you have an IPv6 address,
ipconfig will print something likes this:
Wireless LAN adapter Wi-Fi:
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : w23.lan
IPv6 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 2a02:8071:xxxx:xxxx::247
IPv6 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 2a02:8071:xxxx:xxxx:87a:c859:d45e:10b6
Temporary IPv6 Address. . . . . . : 2a02:8071:xxxx:xxxx:cc9b:117e:ddd6:faa4
Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::87a:c859:d45e:10b6%24
IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.2.114
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : fe80::e091:f5ff:fe08:129d%24
If you don’t have an IPv6 address or only link-local addresses, you won’t be able to access IPv6 hosts on the Internet.
It may be caused by your ISP not supporting IPv6, your router not supporting IPv6 or a misconfiguration where the router itself gets an IPv6 address but does not receive a prefix to distribute in the local network.
If you have an IPv6 address, you can already connect to IPv6 hosts! However, most of the time, you’ll use addresses like
https://www.google.com to browse the Internet, not something like
https://[2a00:1450:4001:821::200e] . So you’ll also need a DNS server that provides IPv6 addresses for host names.
If you have an appropriate server,
nslookup’s output will look like this:
If not, you could try Google DNS (
126.96.36.199) or OpenDNS or any of the other public DNS services. Just be careful not to use any shady services.
If you’re using an up-to-date version of Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Vivaldi or whatever, you’re good to go. Go to ipv6.whatismyv6.com to verify connectivity.
Either way, you won’t gain anything special from IPv6, except for non-NAT connectivity, which isn’t important to most.