Network changes for Forum and Wiki (IPv4 to IPv6)

As of this morning, the Paravia Wiki and this forum are serving web traffic over the IPv6 protocol. You may be affected by this change!

What are IPv4/IPv6?

IPv4 is the classic protocol that lets your computer know that “” can be found at a unique numeric address like “”. There are only about 4.2 billion unique IPv4 addresses, and the number of unused addresses grows smaller every day.

IPv6 has been in development since 1998 and became the Internet standard in 2017. It uses letters and numbers to make an address, so there are 340 trillion trillion trillion available addresses.

Why does IPv6 matter?

The company that hosts our forum and wiki (Amazon Web Services) is about to add a surcharge to the use of permanent IPv4 addresses to persuade people to stop using them. This surcharge will add $88 to our annual server bill. To avoid it, we have gotten rid of our permanent IPv4 addresses and upgraded our servers to use IPv6. There are still temporary IPv4 addresses attached to the servers (at no cost), but these are flimsy and may change if the servers shut down unexpectedly.

Why should I care?

While we are serving both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic (this year), you don’t need to care.

At some point in the future (realistically, end of 2024), the temporary IPv4 addresses will go away and your computer / ISP will need to be able to use IPv6 to visit here. Most Internet service providers (like Verizon and Comcast Xfinity) already support IPv6, but some less-developed areas of the world may still be stuck on IPv4. When we finally disable IPv4 completely, these people will not be able to view the forum or wiki until their ISPs catch up and their hardware is IPv6-compatible.

Everyone will have to switch eventually, and IPv6 adoption grows daily (right now, about 40% of the world has made the switch).

How can I test my IPv6 readiness?

You can get more information about your connection at the Test Your IPv6 page. Enabling IPv6 may be as simple as toggling a setting on your home’s router, or you may have to wait for your ISP to take some action. Your ISP’s customer service can provide more information.

How do I get to IPv6-only sites if my ISP is slow to upgrade?

Most mobile cellphone networks (3G, 4G, etc) should be IPv6-compatible without any extra steps. Visiting through your cellphone’s Mobile Data should get you access to IPv6-only sites if your ISP is stuck on IPv4.

If you have additional questions, you can reach me through this thread or by email at paravia AT urizone DOT net.

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Based on some email feedback and a slight decrease in forum traffic, it’s apparent that a change like this should be given more visibility and people should have more time to prepare.

So, instead of just shutting off IPv4 completely (as we did briefly from Jan 8 - Jan 14, 2024), we will be doing this in a phased way:

  1. The dedicated IPv4 address for the forum and wiki (the ones that will cost $88 starting in February) are still removed.
  2. I have set up temporary dynamic IPv4 addresses in our DNS records for both the forum and the wiki. Anyone whose connection is not currently IPv6-compatible should still be able to reach those sites without any changes or upgrades. The limitation of these addresses: should the servers happen to fail or get restarted at any time, new temporary addresses would be assigned to them and the sites would be unavailable over IPv4 until I manually update the DNS records again.
  3. At some point in the future, I will post a “final warning” that IPv4 is permanently going away. The timeline for this will depend on how finicky the results of step #2 are and how quickly ISPs adapt to IPv6.
  4. At some further point in the future, IPv4 addressing will be removed and the sites will become robust IPv6-only sites.

I have updated the FAQ above with detail to reinforce that this will be phased, not just an on/off switch.

Thank you for your patience as I try to balance web hosting costs and visitor accessibility – and apologies if you were briefly affected by the unannounced upgrade! I try to make reasonable decisions as the web administrator, but the most financially sound decision isn’t always the same as the best one for the people affected. Lesson learned!

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