The Internet that we know and love is built on a networking protocol called Internet Protocol version 4 (or IPv4). An incredible feat of engineering, which has changed the World forever, IPv4 nevertheless has one serious flaw. Every node on the global Internet, whether server, client, or router, must have its own IP address. But IPv4 restricts addresses to 32 bits, which means there can only be just over 4 billion unique IPv4 addresses.
This problem was recognised as long ago as the late 1980s, and a solution developed: a new version of the Internet Protocol, called IPv6. (There never was an IPv5!) While IPv6 gradually made its way into hardware and software, the world's supply of IPv4 addresses was strictly rationed. Also, schemes for sharing IPv4 addresses were developed and used, to put off the fateful day when all the addresses were used up.
Now, in the 2010s, as Internet expansion continues unabated the IPv4 address squeeze is really beginning to bite. Just about every Internet device is now IPv6 ready, but the task of building out the global IPv6 Internet has only just begun.
Mythic Beasts and IPv6
Mythic Beasts are at the forefront of the global IPv6 deployment effort. Our core network is all dual stack, which means that it runs both IPv4 and IPv6 in parallel. And all our services come with IPv6 as standard, making it easy for you to ensure your website will be accessible to the widest possible audience.
The shift to IPv6 is a big one, with implications throughout the network stack. So it makes sense to start planning and deploying your services now. We are working hard to make sure that all our services “Just Work” both in today's dual stack world, and for tomorrow's IPv6-only clients. For example, if you deploy a service on IPv6, but your nameservers can only be reached with IPv4, that service is invisible to IPv6-only clients. We have developed a world-renowned IPv6 health check tool that reports on errors such as this.
IPv4 optional on all VPS products
We were one of the first companies in the UK to offer an IPv6-only VPS. We've now extended that option to our entire VPS range: IPv6 connectivity comes as standard, IPv4 connectivity is an optional extra. (Currently the IPv4 option is enabled by default, as we expect most people will still want IPv4, but we're looking forward to the day when we default it to off!)
IPv6 only support services
For IPv6 only servers, we also provide a number of helpful free services to help make the switch even easier. You can find further information, here.
- IPv6 Health Check — check your website's visibility in an IPv6-only world.
- https://ipv6.mythic-beasts.com/ — test your client's IPv6 connection by viewing an IPv6-only version of our site.
- Configuring IPv6 — information on how to configure your Mythic Beasts server to use IPv6.