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[6bone] The future

>What about v6, when implemented, will this be the same smooth (as far >as a 
>customers point of view is concerned)
>silent and unseen mechanism that the end user needs know nothing about?

IPv6 is just version 6 of the protocol, so nothing is really going to change except for the greatly increasing the number of available IP addresses, the support of IP security, the mobility of IP addresses, autoconfiguration, 6 to 4 ability, and less routing table entries.

In the case of users, they will only need to know that IPv4 addresses consist of four decimal octets separated by three dots, that IPv6 addresses consist of 8 or less hexadecimal octets separated by colons, and finally, they will also need to know that IPv4 and IPv6 are not compatible with each other (except that IPv4 addresses can be mapped and embedded on IPv6).

>Will they just turn on the computer one day, and after an automatic >update, 
>be v6 enabled and surfing the web,
>or is the configurations and installations that we do now going to >need to 
>done on millions on machines around
>the globe?

Some ISPs already delegate IPv6 addresses when users connect to the internet. Comcast and Cox communications, for example, both automatically delegate IPv6 addresses to users who have IPv6 installed (or kernel compiled) on their computers.

>I guess v4 will still be around for a while yet, as I think many ISPs >etc 
>wont update their equipment for a few years.

They don't have to update anything except their software (unless they have _really_ old hardware). Most network interfaces support IPv6. I guess the only ones which wouldn't support IPv6 would be ones from the late '80s/early '90s. Though, you may be correct on the fact that many ISPs won't be using IPv6. My ISP, for example, hardly even knows how to set up firewalls! On their news page, they claimed they implemented DoS attack filtering, and the only change I noticed was that I could no longer use ping or traceroute due to their CISCO routers blocking _outgoing_ icmp packets. Anyone could ping my IP, but I could not ping theirs. I eventually complained to them and they fixed it about 4 months later. I called their tech support up and asked them about IPv6. At first they didn't even know what it was. Then the english-as-a-second-language-speaking tech support person asked me what version of Windows I had. After explaining to this poor man what FreeBSD was (because when I said I had FreeBSD, he replied, "uh, what's that?"), he came back and said "we don't support UNIX, and UNIX will not work with this internet service". Heh, their own servers run Solaris! (Which is UNIX, right? So UNIX does not work with itself? Nonsense) It goes to say that in the coming years, the IPv6 progress may be slowed down by these ISPs which have no idea about the outside world, and only know how to pop a CD in a Windows computer to install ISP software for connecting to the internet.

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