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New Trend: Vanity IPv6 Addresses

Blair McKee

It's like a vanity license plate, but for your IP address.

Previously under IPv4 DNS registration, users were limited to only using numbers. However, with the height of IPv6 underway users are getting creative with their newfound use of characters. Although you can only use characters A-F, it only takes a little creativity to find ways around this.

For example,

Facebook's IPv6 address is: 2620:0:1c08:4000:face:b00c::

BBC: 2001:4b10:bbc::1

If DNS Made Easy were to buy into the vanity plate scheme:

1234:567:89:1:10:d45:3ade:eas7::

Or maybe even:

1234:567:89:1:10:da:be57:d45

But my personal favorite will always be Lancaster University Network:

[2a01:8900:0:1::b00b:1e5]

The trend began as an anniversary event for World IPv6 day as a way to promote the new system. In case you don't know the vast history of DNS and the evolution of IP addresses, here's a quick 30 second history lesson:

IP addresses were developed with the advent of the internet, like a phone number, it represents the identities of computers and served as a means for them to communicate. In 2011, engineers became worried that the world might run out of IP addresses so IPv6 was released. The new system allows for 2^128 IP addresses. In case you can't grasp that number, here it is in a few different forms via Wolfram Alpha.

To compare, the previous IPv4 only carried 2^32 possible IP addresses, containing four decimal numbers ranging from 0-255.

In the end, after some more research and various opinions, the world realized IPv6 wasn't a dire necessity for 2011. Four years later, only a few organizations have made the switch as most either aren't ready for the transition or just prefer IPv4 and don't see a necessity to change.

Regardless of the necessity (or not) for IPv6, what do you think about using Vanity IP Addresses?

Vote HERE at the register.co.uk and see what everyone else thinks.

By Blair McKee, Digital Marketing Manager for DNS Made Easy
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Related topics: IP Addressing, IPv6
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um, really John Levine  –  Jul 22, 2015 10:07 AM PDT

Nearly all of my IPv6 addresses spell something in ASCII, and have for years.

Glad to see you've finally noticed what the rest of us have known since forever.

Some versions of something::DEADBEEF::something are available if Bill Stewart  –  Jul 22, 2015 10:37 AM PDT

Some versions of something::DEADBEEF::something are available if McDonald's wants it.

4 years ago the switch wasn't possible Ross Chandler  –  Jul 22, 2015 12:00 PM PDT

Most people when they looked into into four years ago would have found that the transition expensive for them as they probably would have had to buy new equipment.

Equipment and software that could actually do it for production services at the edge only started arriving about 2.5 years ago.

Now people will find that it is more a matter of turning on the capability.

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