The internet is changing for good as web giants around the world started embracing IPv6, technology that is expected to redefine the way networked devices talk to each other. On June 6th, 2012 major companies including Google, Facebook and Yahoo! embraced the IPv6 protocol that will overcome the 4 billion IP address limit while using current IPv4 standards. With IPv6 version of the protocol we get virtually limitless amount of IP address, 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses. Not only that, IPv6 is more secure and efficient in handling data packets while it routes around the network.
That said, for a complete transition from IPv4 to IPv6 it will take time as every website owners and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must make the switch. Till then both systems will co-exist. Note that you as an end-user doesn’t have to make any changes to your browser or network for continued browsing for the very same reason that IPv4 and IPv6 will be live for months to come. But if you are a networking enthusiast who wish to leverage the power of IPv6 make sure that your ISP and networking devices are capable of handling it. Head over to ipv6test.google.com to find it out.
If your ISP and network hardware supports IPv6 you can browse through websites that is now handling 128 bit IP addresses. Now if you also want to know which websites support IPv6 and the address associated with each domain name here is something you need to do now. Both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox users can install an add-on called IPvFoo that can display the 128 bit address along with few other details.
IPvFoo, available as a Chrome extension and Firefox add-on (known as IPvFox) sniffs protocol related info of a website and displays them in human understandable manner. Once installed, you will see an icon towards right side of browser address bar that displays number 4 or 4 based on the IP version encountered. Note that if a particular page contains links or other related elements from other domains, then smaller numbers will appear alongside. Now if you click the icon, a table pops up with a row of information for each domain. While the padlock icon denotes a HTTP/ HTTPS connection or a mix of both, the IPv4 or IPv6 address is the 32/ 128 bit address that corresponds to the website domain.