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Jeff Root
2012-May-06, 11:43 AM
Internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the protocol used
by most of the hardware connected to the Internet.
Because the new Internet addresses that IPv4 can handle
are nearly used up, IPv6 was introduced several years ago
to replace it.

But so far almost everything runs on IPv4.

Is there any good reason for my computer to have IPv6
turned on right now?

Is there any good reason for my computer to have IPv6
turned off right now?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

captain swoop
2012-May-06, 08:38 PM
We don't use it on any of the networks we install, it's always turned off.

HenrikOlsen
2012-May-07, 11:38 AM
NAT'ing sidestepped the short term problem of IPv4 numbers running out, so for now it'll be safe for you to disable it.,

It didn't solve the long term problem, which as I understand it has resulted in China turning almost exclusively IPv6, but as the IPv6 was designed to coexist with IPv4 you probably don't have to care about that for the immediate future.

kpatz
2012-May-07, 02:39 PM
Unless your ISP has implemented IPv6 and has migrated its user base to it there's no need to have it enabled.

shriram
2012-May-07, 02:43 PM
IPv6 can coexist with IPv4, but it is not backward compatible. You cannot communicate with IPv6 machine using IPv4 machine. However, service providers host the services in both IPv6 and IPv4 space, and will continue to do so at least for next 3-5 years, to ensure that users in both the address spaces can connect without any issue. Its not time yet for the user machines to move to IPv6 now. And the migration is not that difficult. When the time comes, all you will have to do is enable IPv6, and your OS and your service provider will take care of the rest. Most of the common apps are already IPv6 ready.

Jeff Root
2012-May-07, 04:11 PM
Thank you. Your replies are exactly what I needed.

IPv6 is enabled by default in Windows 7 and IE 8, which
I'm using at the moment. I turned it off the other day
after I noticed that, thinking it might possibly eliminate
some delays in making connections, when an IPv6 connect
is attempted but fails. I haven't been able to tell.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

slang
2012-May-07, 10:14 PM
There can be other reasons to use IPv6, but I think it's a safe bet that if those reasons would apply to you, you would already be aware. For example, I know of some news servers that offer(ed) free access through their IPv6 interfaces: they say it's to test their setup under a real load, but it may be for marketing reasons too.

HenrikOlsen
2012-May-07, 10:52 PM
IPv6 can coexist with IPv4, but it is not backward compatible. You cannot communicate with IPv6 machine using IPv4 machine.
There are routing and encapsulation protocols to allow interconnection, they were part of the design of IPv6 exactly to prevent a bifurcation of the internet into two separate entities.

loglo
2012-May-08, 05:42 PM
The best reason (http://xkcd.com/865/) not to enable IPv6. :)