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What is IPv6 | How to add IPv6 to your web server?

ipv6 address

If you have finished reading about the internet, web server, DNS, etc., you must have heard the term IPv6. Or you may have seen it on the router setting or you may have heard it somehow! Again, you may have never heard of IPv6 before. As a general user, you may not know much about IPv6, but if you have a website, it is better to know this term!

So in today’s article I will discuss the basics of IPv6 in particular, and how to enable IPv6 on your web server! – So let’s start the discussion.

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What is IPv6?

Before discussing IPv6, you need to know what an IP address is. IP address is the address of the network, it is usually found in the form of numbers. When a domain name enters the browser to visit the site, the browser first checks the DNS server, finds the IP address behind the domain and then connects to the site. Now the server usually uses 123.45.67.89 – this type of IP address. Which is called a 32-bit IP address system or IPv4.

If IPv4 is used on all servers then why bother with IPv6? In fact, when the Internet was discovered, it was unimaginable that it would become so popular. So the 32-bit system is started to be used. But it is not possible to generate too many unique IP addresses.

IPv4 addresses are limited to the range 000.000.000.000 and 255.255.255.255. Actually, it’s a bit of a hassle, but hopefully, you’ve got a rough idea. Now every device does not need a separate IP to use home internet, the router uses its own system and provides a private IP to all the devices. But there are hundreds of websites online that require a public IP address to access, and the supply of IPv4 is very limited!

IPV6: It works here!

IPV6 was invented to overcome this limitation, using a 128-bit system instead of the previous 32-bit address system. As a result, this IP address is much longer, and longer means it is possible to create many unique addresses, but it is more difficult to remember! The IPv6 addressing system has 6 groups and each group has 4 digits.

IPV6 looks a bit like that; 2606: 4700: 30 :: 681b: 935a – It supports hexadecimal so it supports more variations per row.

IPv6 support on the website

Not that you have to use IPv6 instead of IPv4, there is no need to replace the web server with IPv6, they can work together. IPv4 as well as IPv6 support can be added to the server configuration.

First, you need to configure your web server so that it can listen to IPv6 traffic. Your configuration may vary depending on the software you are using as a web server, you just need to read the webserver documentation. For example, in the case of Nginx web server, even if you add the following code to the config file;

listen [::]:443 ssl http2;

Here [::] this code represents IPv6!

You will then need to create an AAAA record from your domain panel. For IPv4 such A record is to be created, after IPv6 AAAA record is required. However, your A record must still have IPv4 at this point. As I said before, your configuration will be different depending on the server. At least that’s how you understand, how to enable IPv6 in any way!

IPv6 is not yet widely used. Many hosting providers may not yet support IPv6, but most cloud hosting providers do. The more the number of websites and client devices on the Internet, the more urgent IPV6 will become. So it is best to enable IPV6 on your website in advance, no need to worry about it later!

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