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OpenDNS offers IPv6 Internet DNS services

Ready to start tinkering with the Internet's IPv6 protocol, but need an IPv6-friendly DNS service? OpenDNS has an offer for you.

OpenDNS, a popular third-party Domain Name System (DNS) provider, is now offering IPv6 DNS support. The company claims that "OpenDNS is the first major recursive DNS service in the world to offer the service."

I'm not sure that they're the first, but I do know this is a big step forward for network administrators. I use OpenDNS myself for DNS look-ups. It provides faster DNS look-ups than ISP's DNS I've tried and it's proven to be more reliable than many ISP's DNS servers.

We need to start working with IPv6 for our Internet connections because we're down to the last dregs of our IPv4 Internet addresses. Asia's out of IPv4 addresses now and it won't be long now until the last IPv4 addresses are assigned. With IPv6 and its 128-bit addresses, we'll have enough Internet addresses until the day we need to start worrying about interstellar Internet addresses. But, of course, to use them, we need to switch over to IPv6.

OpenDNS' IPv6-ready service is designed to act "as a sandbox for those tasked with managing networks of any size - from large enterprises, SMBs and universities to K-12 school districts and small organizations - and moving them to IPv6. By having access to the DNS testbed, they are able to experiment with the migration from IPv4 with one less item to worry about and ultimately move their network with confidence. Most business users today can request IPv6 addressing from their Internet Service Provider, or use a free IPv6 tunnel service like the one offered by Hurricane Electric.

In a statement, OpenDNS CEO David Ulevitch said, "The move to IPv6 is on everyone's mind so a sandbox for IPv6-ready DNS is a service every network admin in the world can and will use. For network admins without IPv6 experience, they can quickly set up an IPv6 tunnel and start experimenting with the OpenDNS IPv6 DNS service. The testbed is a service for the Internet at large, helping the global migration from IPv4 to IPv6. Needless to say, we're more than proud to be the first recursive DNS service in the world to offer IPv6-ready DNS."

So how do you use it? For starters, you make sure you have a working IPv6 Internet connection. One easy way to do that is to visit the Kame Web site. This site hosts a free BSD Unix IPv6, IPsec, and Mobile IPv6 software stack. It also provides a cute illustration of a sea turtle. If the turtle is "swimming," than you have a working IPv6 connection.

If you think you have a connection via your ISP, but it's not showing up, make sure your network equipment is IPv6 compatible. A lot of small office/home office (SOHO) hardware doesn't have IPv6 support.

IF your ISP doesn't support IPv6 yet, but your equipment and operating systems are IPv6 ready, you can connect to the IPv6 Internet with Hurricane Electric's IPv6 Tunnel Broker. This free service lets developers and experimenters reach the IPv6 Internet by tunneling through existing IPv4 connections from your IPv6 enabled host or router to one of Hurricane's IPv6 routers.

Then for your DNS service, you enter OpenDNS' IPv6 DNS addresses. These are:

2620:0:ccc::2 2620:0:ccd::2

For more details on how to set this up see the OpenDNS IPv6 How-To page.

Related Stories:

What works, and what doesn't work, with IPv6

Who has, and who doesn’t have, IPv6 Support

How far has the Internet come with IPv6 Adoption?

It’s official: Asia’s just run out of IPv4 Addresses

Don’t Panic! It's only the Internet running out of Addresses

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