Frequently asked questions about IPv6. Choose a question and the answer will appear.

How long will IPv6 be around?

No one can yet predict when, or even if, IPv4 will no longer be used globally. Most transition plans include steps to insure IPv4/IPv6 coexistence for the foreseeable future. While it is assumed IPv4 will eventually disappear from most networks as IPv6 takes over, this is likely to transpire over an extended length of time.

Will IPv4 still work?

Network systems will continue working when the public IPv4 address pool is completely depleted. In fact, some networks can continue to grow using private IPv4 addresses and private IPv4-to-public IPv4 network address translation (NAT44), if they already have sufficient public IPv4 addresses. While IPv4 cannot support the growing address needs of the world, it is not going away immediately. We are ensuring that all Internet connections through our network are capable of reaching both IPv4 and IPv6 content and that our end users have access to both.

Are IPv4 and IPv6 interoperable?

IPv4 and IPv6 are not directly interoperable. An IPv4-only device cannot communicate with an IPv6-only device without the help of a Network Address Translator that translates between IPv4 and IPv6 (NAT64). The easiest way to allow a device to communicate over either IPv4 or IPv6 is to assign to it both an IPv4 address and an IPv6 address: called dual stacking. The device can then "speak" either protocol, depending upon either the type of address DNS gives it for a destination or the type of protocol used by another device sending it packets to which it must respond.

If an IPv6-only device needs to speak to another IPv6-only device but some or all of the network between the devices is IPv4-only (or vice-versa, two IPv4-only devices that must traverse an IPv6-only network segment), there are a variety of tunneling mechanisms that can be used. The difference between a tunnel and a translator is that while a translator changes a packet's header from one protocol type to another, a tunnel encapsulates the packet, including its header, behind a header of another type.

Tunnels can be either manually configured or automatically configured. Examples of manual tunnels are MPLS, GRE, and IP-in-IP. Examples of automatic tunnels are 6RD, 6to4, Teredo, ISATAP, and tunnel brokers. The decision to use a tunneling technology, and which technology to use, depends on your specific network and the specific problem you are trying to solve.

What does "Dual Stack" mean?

This means that IPv4 and IPv6 run concurrently at the network level. Dual Stack service ensures that legacy devices, applications and content that support IPv4-only will continue to function while IPv6 deployment continues.

Is IPv6 secure?

IPv6 has the same inherent security as IPv4

What are the advantages of IPv6?

While the enormous address space is the primary reason most network operators are motivated to adopt IPv6, there are other advantages that are likely to show benefits in the future. These include:

  • Better multicast capabilities
  • A more flexible, extensible header architecture
  • The potential for more granular Class of Service (CoS)
  • The potential for better network mobility
  • Better peer-to-peer capabilities

Will my device support IPv6?

Because IPv6 has been around for quite some time, your computer and mobile devices probably already support IPv6. For Spectrum equipment, we test and certify our devices in our lab for IPv6 capability. For customer-owned equipment, please check with the manufacturer to determine if your specific device and operating system will support IPv6.

Can I opt out of IPv6?

No. However, you can disable IPv6 on your device. Check with your manufacturer for instructions on how to do this.

When can I get IPv6?

We are actively working to deploy IPv6 to customers. However, most customers will never even notice a change to IPv6. Our national backbone already supports routing IPv6 traffic. We anticipate deploying Dual Stack to our Residential High Speed Internet customers in early 2017.

What does an IPv6 address look like?

An IPv6 address is much longer than an IPv4 address. An IPv4 address is a 32-bit address composed of 4 octets. An IPv6 is a 128-bit address and consists of 32 hexadecimal characters composed of the numbers 0 through 9 and the letters A through F.

  • Example of an IPv4 address: 24.128.21.12
  • Example of an IPv6 address: 24da:db8:ac10:fe01:2aa:ff:fe00:56ab

How can I learn more about IPv6?

For more information about the IPv6 protocol, read an IPv6 Technology Overview.