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IPv6

To check if your content is available over IPv6 – or to make it accessible over IPv6 – follow these steps:

1. Understand the overall process of making your content available over IPv6
View these resources as a start:

2. Find Out If Your Hosting Providers Support IPv6
If your website (or sites) is hosted with a provider, find out if your provider supports IPv6. We have pointers to lists of hosting providers who support IPv6, but your best bet is to start with the contacts you have at your providers. Ask if they will be making your content available over both IPv4 and IPv6. Ideally you are looking for a “dual-stack” server that supports both protocols.

If your hosting provider is NOT planning to support IPv6 any time soon, consider moving to a hosting provider that does support IPv6, or a Virtual Private Server(VPS) provider that supports IPv6.

Don’t forget about other services you may use, too, such as social networks. Contact them to ask if they will be supporting IPv6. The good news is that both Facebook, Google+ and YouTube were all participants in World IPv6 Launch and started making their sites available over IPv6 as of June 6, 2012.

3. Determine If Your Own Servers Have IPv6 Connectivity
If you host your own website(s), find out whether your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can provide you with IPv6 connectivity. If not, consider what might be involved with switching to an ISP that supports IPv6 – or perhaps bringing in a separate connection. A great place to start is with the list of network operators participating in World IPv6 Launch as they have all committed to providing IPv6 connectivity.

4. Consider Using A Content Delivery Network (CDN) – or Contact Your Existing CDN

A “content delivery network” (CDN) (also called a “content distribution network”) is a service that takes your existing content and makes it available through a global network of distribution servers. The primary reason companies use CDNs is to speed up access to website content because a CDN’s servers can be closer to end users and therefore deliver the content to those users faster. A CDN can also help absorb a greater load of traffic than an individual server.

The cool thing about a CDN is that once your content is in its network, that content can be easily made available over both IPv4 and IPv6 – even if YOUR web servers are IPv4-only!  A CDN can be a very quick way to make your content IPv6-enabled, even if your own infrastructure cannot make the move quickly.

Some of the largest CDNs such as a Akamai and Limelight as well as newer entrants like CloudFlare are all participating in World IPv6 Launch. We’ve started a list of content delivery networks (CDNs) supporting IPv6 and would encourage you to investigate this option. If you are already using a CDN, contact them and find out how soon they will be able to make your content available over IPv6.

5. Update DNS To Point To The IPv6 Address(es) For Your Site
Finally, once you have determined that your website has IPv6 connectivity, you’ll need to update DNS so that it is publishing the IPv6 address(es) for your site(s).

NOTE: If you are using a CDN, you will usually NOT have to do this because the CDN takes care of handling all of your DNS entries for you.

What you need to do is to update DNS with “AAAA” record(s) pointing to your IPv6 address(es). For example, if your web server is at the address “www.example.com” and has the IPv6 address “2001:db8:1234:3f4c:51::234“, you need to create an AAAA record with this information. (Tip: If you are speaking with your IT team or provider about these DNS records, they will sometimes call them “quad-A” records.)

For more information on DNS for IPv6 visit our resource on DNS Considerations for IPv6.

5. Celebrate!
Congrats!  You’ve done it – your content is now available to all of those people who are connecting to the Internet using IPv6.

Still have more questions about how to make your content available over IPv6? Please let us know how we can help you!

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