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9 April 2011
Internet Protocal Version 6 (IPv6)
Recently, you may read news about new IPv6 protocol (more information of IPv6 can be found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6).  This is because the existing usused IP addresses (IPv4) are runnig out of stock.  There is an urgent need to introduce a new protocol - IPv6 - to solve this problem.

In fact, IPv6 was introduced many years ago and some IT vendors are doing background works for transition from IPv4 to IPv6.   For example, Windows XP SP1 or above and Windows Server 2003 or above can support both IPv4 and IPv6.  However, there are still a lot of hardware (e.g. router)  not supporting IPv6.  Another problem is that many DNS servers (possibly run by your ISP) only support IPv4.  If you want to test your IPv6 readiness, you can go to http://test-ipv6.com.  If you are tested not IPv6 ready, don't panic because there is little that you can do. 

IPv6 is not compatible with the existing internet protocol (IPv4).  Many established or well-known companies (especially in USA) have adequate reserve of IPv4 addresses for their own use.  They are not too concern for changing to IPv6 immediately.  Some might perhaps use IPv6 for testing purpose.  However, new companies will soon have difficulty in applying IPv4 for their own use.  IPv6 will be their only solution very soon.

As most existing users are stilling using IPv4, I anticipate that IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist for a long period.   Mechanisms for translating IPv6 packets into IPv4 packets and vice versa are expected so that IPv4 users can gradually migrate to IPv6. 

As ordinary user, you  do not need to take action at this stage.  Just wait for announcement. Router might be the hardware that you need to replace for supporting IPv6. 

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