All indications are that the Internet will move to IPv6 in a not so distant future.
All major operating systems now support the IPv6 protocol, including Linux, BSD, Solaris, and Windows (included with XP SP2 / Vista).
Our friends at www.dnsstuff.com recently started a free service at www.6gate.com to IPv6 enable web-sites running on IPv4 simply by adding a DNS AAAA-record.
Another thing that made me pay attention is that IPv6 is now enabled by default in Microsoft’s .NET Framework 2.0, and fully supported in Visual Studio 2005.
This, for me, finally makes it realistic to start developing for IPv6.
But then how does one actually connect to the IPv6 Internet to begin testing, experimenting, and playing with this?
My local ISP does not offer any IPv6 connectivity yet.
The Windows XP SP2 IPv6 implementation offers a "Teredo" function to tunnel traffic between IPv4 and IPv6. But this appears to require a "Teredo relay" somewhere on the IPv4 Internet, of which I cannot find any...
The 6gate.com service utilizes the services of www.sixxs.net, so had a look at that site and tried out their "10 Easy Steps to IPv6".
This involved a rather complex and lengthy identification and setup process.
After this I had a tunnel to the IPv6 Internet - or at least so the AICCU software claimed.
But my local computer could still not ping any IPv6 addresses.
Unfortunately there were no more instructions beyond the 10 steps.
After randomly reading various FAQs I think that because my computer is behind a NAT router, I would also need to install a "TINC" tunnel driver.
This appeared to be some type of VPN NIC driver (similar to OpenVPN) but I could not find any instructions on how to get this to work with the AICCU software.
So I had to give up on this :-(
After a bit of Googling, I found another IPv6 tunnel system/service at www.hexago.com.
Fortunately this was a breeze to sign up for and setup, and I now have a fully functional IPv6 address and connection. I can ping other IPv6 addresses, and surf IPv6 web-sites etc.
So then it was time to play with Visual Studio 2005, and it didn’t take long before I was sending and receiving DNS packets over IPv6, just by changing a few Winsock parameters. Cool!
Look out for a new IPv6 and IDN enabled version of the Simple DNS Plus DNS Look Up tool soon...