All Snap Internet customers now have native IPv6 connectivity for no additional cost to safeguard them from the threat of IPv4 address exhaustion.
While other ISPs talk about putting in the new Internet addressing protocol IPv6 Snap has already moved to ensure future connectivity for customers.
The current Internet Protocol addressing system, IPv4, was designed in the 1970s and provides around four billion addresses. Every device connected to the Internet must have an IP address to be found by others, so it can send and receive traffic.
With the explosive growth in Internet usage through broadband connections and mobile no more IPv4 addresses can be allocated by regional registries as from this year. This means we are dipping into allocated address banks, and soon, we’ll be running out of IPv4 addresses altogether.
Starting this August, Snap’s network is fully IPv6 enabled for all customers. The IPv6 service will run alongside Snap’s normal IPv4 connectivity. All customers need to do is to upgrade to a DSL or other router that is IPv6 capable and configured properly.
The ISP will initially be offering support for IPv6 via email, but will extend this to phone support later this year.
Mark Petrie, SNAP COO says: “We have been preparing for IPv4 addresses to run out for the past four years, and wanted to ensure that our customers can continue using the Internet without interruption, or further costs. This is hugely important, especially for business customers depending on the Internet.”
As most residential routers presently don’t support IPv6, in a further move to ensure easy migration to the new protocol, Snap will be selling AVM Fritz! Boxes from September. These are fully enabled for IPv6, and pre-configured by Snap.
Commercial customers can get support from Snap for help with migrating to the new protocol from Snap’s IPv6 trained staff.
Petrie says “All new operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X and iOS, and Linux are ready to run IPv6 too. “
Moving to IPv6 means each device can reach others directly on the Internet – this is called the end-to-end principle, and it ensures the best network performance possible, with the least complexity.
Already, the lack of IPv4 addresses has led to extensive use of measures such as Network Address Translation or NAT. However, NAT which uses addresses that cannot be found directly on the Internet breaks the important end-to-end principle and adds complexity, especially for large networks. It may also cause performance issues.
Snap has also been providing IPv6 transport connections across its fibre networks to many large University and Enterprise customers for some years now.