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What is IPv6 and how can you make sure your site is IPv6 ready?

If you've read about websites and the Internet, you've probably heard the term IPv6 used. You may have even seen it by adjusting your router settings. Even if you know the term, you may not know what it means.

SummaryWhat is IPv6?IPv6 to the rescueHow do you make sure your site is IPv6 ready?Conclusion

Of course, you may never have heard of IPv6 either. Whether you have it or not, IPv6 is important to the internet, especially as we progress. If you have a website, it is especially important to familiarize yourself with IPv6.

What is IPv6?

Before we start explaining what IPv6 is and how it differs from IPv4, let's take a look at what an IP address is. Every time you type a website address into your browser, that name goes through a domain name server, which in turn gives your browser the server's IP address. These addresses allow computers to communicate with each other on the Internet.

For years, IP addresses have used a 32-bit address space in the following format: This is the maximum number of digits an IPv4 address can use. This means that you are limited to IP addresses between and

It's actually a bit more complicated than that, as large blocks of addresses are reserved for particular use cases, but you get the idea.

There are many servers and many websites you come across use multiple IP addresses. In fact, most of them use more than one IP address.

IPv6 to the rescue

Unlike IPv4 and its 32-bit address space, IPv6 uses a 128-bit address space. Since these IP addresses are longer, they will not be exhausted, which is already a problem. It also means they look slightly less friendly.

An IPv6 address uses eight groups of four digits. Plus, these are hexadecimal, which allows for even more variation. An example IPv6 address looks like 2001:0db8:0000:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.

How do you make sure your site is ipv6-ready?

You're not just replacing IPv4 with IPv6. Instead, the two will work side by side for a while. Adding IPv6 support to your website can be done alongside your IPv4 setup.

What is IPv6 and how can you make sure your site is IPv6 ready?

First, you will need to configure your server to listen for IPv6 addresses. This varies by server software, so you'll need to consult your documentation. For example, on Nginx, you simply add the following line to your server configuration file:

listen[::]:443 ssl http2;

the [::] code represents IPv6 addresses.

Next, you'll need to add an AAAA record for your website, along with your bare domain. This is the IPv6 version of the A record, which you probably set up through your domain registrar when setting up your website.

You will also need to ensure that your DNS servers have IPv6 addresses. Otherwise, even though your site will serve traffic over IPv6, you will still need IPv4 to direct your users there. You can check this using the whois command followed by your domain name.

Things are slightly more complex if you are also running a mail server. You will need to add an IPv6 address for your mail servers. If you list IPv4 servers in your SPF record for outgoing mail, you will also need to list IPv6 addresses.

This should at least give you an idea of ​​where to start to add IPv6 to your website.


Although the numbers may seem a little more complex than the old IPv6 IP addresses, IPv6 isn't really that complicated. Considering the hassle it can save you later, you're better off configuring your site for IPv6 now rather than waiting until you have to.

If you're running your website from a home server, you'll want to make sure you secure it properly. We can help you there. Just check out our guide to securing your home Linux server.