June 08, 2011, 9:53 AM — An estimated one million Internet users are expected to have trouble connecting to some of their favorite Websites during World IPv6 Day on Wednesday. More than 400 popular Websites including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Bing are participating in a test run of a new addressing system for the Internet, called Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).
The problem is that a relatively small number of people, about 0.03-0.05% of worldwide Internet users, may experience a problem called IPv6 brokenness. This basically means that if you're computer is on a network participating in the IPv6 test Wednesday, there may be a problem somewhere between your computer and your connection to the Internet.
But along with a limited number of IPv6 problems, there will also be the usual computer annoyances such as downed Internet connections, slow response times from your ISP, Website problems, Wi-Fi connectivity issues and so on. So how do you know what kind of a problem you're having? Here's a quick rundown of how you can test for problems.
Whenever you type a URL such as Google.com into your browser, that address is converted into a series of machine-readable numbers called an Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses (IPv4) currently look like something like this: 126.96.36.199 (one of Google's many IP addresses).
The problem is the IPv4 address space will run out later this year, which could cause limited functionality and other problems later on down the road. To solve this problem, the Internet has to move to IPv6, which has an address space that is four billion times bigger than IPv4. Long form IPv6 addresses look like this: 2620:0000:0e50:0002:0000:0000:0000:0001.
Check Your IPv6 Test Day Compatibility
There are two sites that can let you know if you can expect to experience problems during IPv6 Day. If you just want to know whether you should expect to see any hassles on your current network Wednesday, visit omgipv6day.com. This site will just give you a simple checkmark if your connection looks clear for IPv6 Day browsing.