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What, How and Why of IPv6

[still working on this, but if you have additions or corrections please please let me know]

ibiblio, along with The North Carolina Networking Initiative (NCNI), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and the CENTAUR Lab at NC State UniversityÔÇÖs Centennial Campus, has a project to make WXYC and WCPE available using IPv6 and on Internet2.

What is IPv6?

The way computers talk to each other on the Internet is by a protocol called IP (or Internet Protocol). Many of the computers use an older version of IP called IPv4, or Internet Protocol version 4. IPv4 is now nearly twenty years old.

The latest and greatest, we’ll talk more about the differences in Why, is IPv6. IPv6 is available on some but not all ISPs and campuses.

Next you need to configure your computer with an IPv6 address and Router.

On MacOS X, you can set this up in Systems Preferences, by selecting Network. Then choosing TCP/IP. Then clicking on “Configure IPv6…” Most people will only need to select automatic configuration at this point. There is a very nice picture on the Apple site. You might also be interested in the Mac VLC Media Player which will allow you to play various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network..

Linux users should look at The Linux Documentation Projects’ IPv6 How To. Linux kernels version 2.2 and above ship with an IPv6 implementation built in.

Windows users should refer to the guide. WinXP comes with IPv6. See also Microsoft’s IPv6 Research Center.

Two sites will help you see if you have IPv6 working. Kame’s turtle will start dancing once you are doing IPv6 and SixXS will tell you a lot about your compter’s set up. Both are very good IPv6 technical resources.

Now select a station and format from the URLS below and you’ll be listening (if your ISP or campus supports IPv6).

WCPE – The Classical Station

WXYC – The Best in College Radio and the first station webcast on the Internet.

Why use IPv6?

For two very good future reasons.

First as the Internet connects more and more devices — computers, phones, PDAs, microwave ovens, music players, etc. –, it needs more and more addresses. Right now we have through But these are not enough. IPv6 will give the Internet more addresses and allow it to keep growing.

Secondly IPv6 promises greatly enhanced support for Quality of Service and for security. For Quality of Service, IPv6 does less retransmition and pays more attention to time. You should, in time, get better listening and better security.

For more about the case for IPv6, see the IPv6 Working Group and IPv6 Operations aka v6ops information from the Internet Engineering Task Force.


  1. The IPv6 feed seems to have been offline for a few months now. That’s unfortunate.

  2. I know I’m responding to a 7 year old post, but what about World IPv6 day? iBiblio should front its pages with an official AAAA record and respond to requests ­čÖé

    blister:~ jeff$ dig @ AAAA +short
    blister:~ jeff$ ­čÖü

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