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Cloudflare, the web performance and security company, today launched its Automatic IPv6 Gateway. The Gateway allows any website to have a presence on the IPv6 Internet without changing their legacy IPv4 infrastructure.
“People have been talking about the challenges of moving from IPv4 to IPv6 for more than a decade,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare. “With Cloudflare’s global network, we realized we could provide the first viable service that would allow any website to join the modern Internet without the pain and expense of upgrading their infrastructure.”
Most of the Internet currently runs on Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) which was originally developed in the 1970s. This protocol limits the public Internet to around 4 billion devices. With the Internet’s explosive growth, the number of on-net devices is closing in on IPv4’s maximum capacity. IPv6, the next Internet protocol, with its capacity to allow up to 340 undecillion devices, more devices than there are atoms on the surface of the Earth, will allow continued Internet growth.
Unfortunately, IPv6 is not compatible with IPv4. As a result, visitors using one protocol cannot connect to websites using the other without a gateway bridging the two networks. The previous and most common gateway solutions are hardware based and cost tens of thousands of dollars per website. Cloudflare’s Automatic IPv6 Gateway seamlessly bridges the IPv4 and IPv6 networks without requiring any hardware or other infrastructure changes. Cloudflare is providing the Automatic IPv6 Gateway for free to all its customers.
“While companies will still eventually upgrade their infrastructure to support IPv6, Cloudflare now allows them to do so on their own schedule and as their budgets allow,” said David Conrad, former head of IANA and now part of Cloudflare’s IPv6 technical team. “Cloudflare is providing the first easy-to-implement solution that will lead to a mass increase in the IPv6 web.”
Prior to Cloudflare’s Automatic IPv6 Gateway, estimates of around 10,000 websites were available via IPv6. More than 10,000 sites participated in the private beta of the Gateway—effectively doubling the size of the IPv6 web. Cloudflare anticipates with the public release of the Automatic IPv6 Gateway, the number of websites now on the IPv6 web will increase by nearly ten fold.
Cloudflare, Inc. (www.cloudflare.com / @cloudflare) makes sites lightning fast, protects them from attacks, ensures they are always online, and makes it simple to add web apps with a single click. Regardless of size or platform, Cloudflare supercharges websites with no need to add hardware, install software, or change a line of code. The Cloudflare community gets stronger as it grows: every new site makes the network smarter. More than 5% of global web requests flow through Cloudflare’s network daily. And, thanks to our awesome sauce technology, every month billions of people experience a faster, safer, better Internet. Cloudflare was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer, named the Most Innovative Network & Internet Technology Company for two years running by the Wall Street Journal, and ranked among the world’s 50 most innovative companies by Fast Company. Cloudflare is based in San Francisco, California, USA.