By the Blouin News Technology staff

Inching towards IPv6

by in Personal Tech.

Young women use the internet in Tehran, Iran. Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

Young women use the internet in Tehran, Iran. Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

The number of IPv4 addresses available is ever-shrinking, which means the need for a global transition to IPv6 is increasingly vital. It has been well-known for years that IPv4 address exhaustion is real, and approaching, and that businesses and carriers have to make the move to the new protocol or face having to conserve addresses and possibly institute address-sharing — a nightmare for customers. The State of the Internet report from Akamai for the third quarter of 2013 highlights the transitions countries are making towards faster internet and more of it, which necessarily points out the importance for moving towards the new internet protocol.

Figures from the report detail that about 8 million IPv4 addresses are added each quarter, but the most interesting takeaway from Akamai’s report is that the countries in which IPv6 is increasingly used do not correlate to the countries in which the internet is the fastest. The following chart shows the top 10 countries in which IPv6 traffic is highest:

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And this chart shows the global average connection speed for the internet by country:

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Only four countries share slots on both charts, which illustrates how progress in web speed does not necessarily also signal progress in moving to the next generation of the internet. While Asian countries top the list of the fastest internet in the world, they are sluggish in adopting IPv6 — a fact that is going to have to be rectified to maintain the Asia-Pacific’s growing number of internet users.

Of course, expanding the number of web addresses on the new protocol is going to have to come with extensive security measures — a provision that Akamai’s report indicates is still a problem in most regions where internet penetration is high. China is responsible for 35% of all “attack traffic”, moving back up into the number one spot with Indonesia in at number two, and the United States at number three. (Although, it is important to keep in mind that users performing web-based attacks could be operating in other countries that can only be tracked to the IP addresses of the aforementioned countries.) And Syria, Myanmar, and Sudan all experienced the most severe internet outages that continue to impede those regions’ abilities to join the rest of the internet-connected world.