If you have been alive long enough you will know that periodically the national telephone companies will announce that they are adding an extra digit to phone numbers because they are running out. There is always a bit of an outcry that we will have to remember ever longer numbers and that businesses have to spend a fortune reprinting all their stationery etc, but in the end we all get used to it. I remember when my London phone number started 01, then it became 081, then 0181, and then 020. No doubt there will be more.
So what has all this to do with photography? Well, not a lot. But it does have to do with this site and my main site. At the moment the internet uses something called the IPv4 protocol. Designed in the 1970s, it was built to accommodate about 4 billion devices connecting to the network. That seemed like a lot at the time, but the explosive growth of the internet means we’re closing in on that number. In order to allow the internet to continue to grow, a new protocol has been created: IPv6.
Unfortunately, the IPv4 and IPv6 networks are incompatible. Unless you have a gateway of some kind if you’re on one you can’t visit websites on the other. And, even more unfortunately, the gateway solutions typically are hardware-based and cost tens of thousands of dollars per website to deploy. This means that most of the world’s websites are unavailable for the 1% of the internet that is already using IPv6, and the percentage of users on IPv6-only networks is only going to grow.
Without putting too fine a point on it, I will be buggered if I intend to sit idly by while my web presence becomes less and less visible, but equally I do not have the tens of thousands of dollars to invest in beating the problem. As a result I have recently begun using CloudFlare, a free online based resource that improves user experience of my website, and as of today allows me to make my sites IPv6 ready. If you have a website, it might be worth your looking into this too.
With thanks to CloudFlare for the info and the solution.