IPv6 Adoption Continues Steady Growth

February 23, 2016
Damion Lackamp

Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6, celebrated its 20th birthday in January of 2016. What better way to celebrate the occasion than with growing user adoption?

As ArsTechnica notes in an article about this milestone, IPv6's 20th birthday coincided with an important achievement: nearly 10%deployment around the globe.

Google, where ArsTechnica gets its data, tracks IPv6 deployment year over year. Google's program tests whether a user's computer can load URLs over IPv6, and tracks what percentage of users are able to do so. IPv6 had a mere 0.4% deployment rate at the end of 2011, but has slowly risen over time since then. It reached 1% in 2012, 2.5% in 2013, and 6% in 2014 before ultimately reaching 9.98% deployment the day after Christmas in 2015.

Though adoption in the United States is growing—it's up to 23.54% now—adoption elsewhere in the world is less consistent. Belgium, notes ArsTechnica, leads the world at almost 43%, while in China and many African nations, "IPv6 users... experience significantly worse performance than IPv4 users." Nonetheless, if the current growth rate continues, according to ArsTechnica the entire world would have IPv6 by summer 2020.

This is so important because, as we've discussed here on the blog before, IPv4 addresses are scarcer than ever. IPv6 is the natural next step for adapting to the growing number of devices and Internet users around the globe. Though it may be a while before IPv4 is phased out completely, widespread adoption of IPv6 is necessary to sustain a growing Internet. There are challenges (security, reliability, latency, etc.) before adoption can reach 100%, but the world’s networks continue making significant progress on deploying IPv6.

It’s hard to say exactly when the world will turn the lights off on IPv4, but IPv6’s continued steady growth is a good sign that we’re headed in the right direction.

For more information about the differences between IPv4 and IPv6, as well as to learn about how Telx supports both protocols, see this blog post from last year. For all other questions or even just to say hello, connect with our team on social media via Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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