Mad as Hell XII -- IPv6

What IPv6 is and why you should care.

Disgusted by security issues and poor performance, Winn Schwartau makes the switch from Windows to the Mac and details the bumps in the road along the way in his "Mad as Hell" series.

OK, this is sort of geekish, but I will do my best.

The Internet uses a protocol [a common language so computers can talk to each other] called IP or Internet Protocol. Don't even think about getting under the sheets of that one; suffice it to say that over the years there have been many variations of Internet Protocol as it has matured. Today IPv4 [Version 4] is what makes it all work.

The 'new' standard is IPv6 [no one knows what happened to V5, so let dead dogs lie]. IPv6 has a whole lot of cool features and security built into it, unlike the naked as a jaybird IPv4. It also has 'an expanded address space.'

Geek Speak:

An IP address looks like this: 169.131.122.201 and every one is a unique number or address, just like your street,

More Mad as Hell

MacIntosh vs. Windows: Choosing to take a bite of the Apple
Disgusted by security issues and poor performance, Winn Schwartau makes the switch from Windows to the Mac and details the bumps in the road along the way in this exclusive intro to his "Mad as Hell" series.

Mad as Hell archive

building and apartment number. There are only 4,294,967,296 different addresses in IPv4. In IPv6 there are about 340 trillion, trillion, trillion unique addresses. Loosely translated, that's a whole lot. More than humanity could ever use.

End of Geek Speak

At the end of the day, Ma & Pa don't care about IPv4/6. They only know that it fricking works.

The reason I mention it though, is to underscore that the OS X folks do a lot of Future Think about security and I consider that to be a good thing. [In addition to the security features that have been in Unix-like OSes for more than two decades!] IPv6 is already there, so, IMHO, when IPv6 devices start showing up in homes, cars, appliances, Mac users will just have to plug in a USB cable and forget about it.

No new drivers! No downtime. High availability. No geeking.

Bottom Line: Forget about it unless you really need IPv6 for some arcane reason in the next few years. I was just geeking a bit.

About the author
Winn Schwartau is one of the country's leading experts on information security, infrastructure protection and electronic privacy. Schwartau is president and founder of Interpact Inc., The Security Awareness Company, which develops information security awareness programs for private, public and government organizations.

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