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How Do I Know If My Router Is IPv6 Compatible?

A41202813 asked the Answer Line forum if his router is ready for the new world of IPv6 Internet addressing

A41202813 asked the Answer Line forum if his router is ready for the new world of IPv6 Internet addressing.

The Internet has been tracking devices with 32-bit IPv4 numbers for a very long time. But with less than 4.3 billion possible 32-bit numbers, we're running out of them quick.

The solution is a transition to 128-bit IPv6 numbers. We won't need to worry about running out of these until we have a galactic civilization.

But are you ready for the change? You can easily find out by visiting testmyipv6.com. Once there, click the IPv6-only Test link. You'll know soon enough if your router and everything else is ready for the big transition.

Unfortunately, should your PC fail the test, you'll have no way of knowing if the router is to blame. It's quite likely that your ISP isn't yet ready for IPv6. Last I checked (four days ago as I write this), my own ISP, AT&T, was still an IPv4-only shop.

So if testing won't tell you whether your modem is ready, what will? The published specifications. Check them out on the manufacturer's web site. If you can't find the term IPv6 in the specs, assume that you'll have to replace that router eventually. But there's no need to rush. You've probably got a couple of years yet.

On the other hand, if I was in the market for a new router, I'd make sure to get an IPv6-ready one.

For more on the subject, see When We Run Out of IP Addresses. You might also want to read the original forum discussion.

Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema. Email your tech questions to him at answer@pcworld.com, or post them to a community of helpful folks on the PCW Answer Line forum.

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