on IPv6 once again

According to Google over 30% of internet users now connect over IPv6. Despite this, many, even in my own professional circle (including those who are supposed to be focused on this stuff), prefer to pretend that it doesn’t exist, and I get it, why bother with the hassle of something new, when the old thing still does everything you want.

When this website was first launched in 2014, it was available on IPv6, that is because it was hosted from my home internet connection which includes IPv6 connectivity. While this was OK 99.9% of the time, there was still that 0.1% of the time when a page on my site was linked to by a popular aggregator site, in which case the 20 megabit upstream I had at the time wasn’t enough, and I got swamped.

Inevitably it had to be moved to the cloud (Amazon Web Services). AWS was built by and large by software engineers, who I can tell you from first hand experience, care little for IPv6. Not surprisingly, for such a forward looking endeavour, there was no support for it whatsoever at the outset.

After years of ‘oh shite, we actually needed to do that’ – and subsequently painfully retrofitting it into the platform, end-to-end IPv6 is now useable on AWS. Setting it up is a long and complicated process (as I expected it would be) but it does work.

Long time no see: An ICMPv6 response from the VM hosting my website.

So the big question: What percentage of readers access my site through IPv6?

One month after enabling it – I’ve crunched the data:

Well that’s a little disappointing. But not surprising. Even though the vast majority of visitors to this site come from countries where IPv6 connectivity is common – I still only get 16%.

This is because most visits are from a desktop computer, which will most likely be connected to a fixed DSL or Cable type connection where IPv6 connectivity is still relatively uncommon. The IPv6 revolution mostly applies to mobile devices on 4G/5G connections where IPv6 connectivity is widespread.

Posted in Bits and pieces

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