Free subscribers can finally activate IPv6. While the IPv4 shortage has been in full swing since the end of 2019, ARCEP has forced operators to accelerate the transition to the new technology. With a staggering number of available IP addresses, the problem shouldn’t be around for quite a while.
The switch to IPv6 took a long time to come, but it is finally here. Free now gives its subscribers the opportunity to purchase a new generation IP address, from an option in the personal area. It was about time: experts believe that the lack of IP addresses in Europe will not be resolved before 2025 minimum. The transition is free, but you will still need a smartphone with a compatible operating system.
To activate the protocol, simply go to the section “My options” of your personal space then tick the corresponding box. Then, go to the settings of your smartphone, in Connections> Mobile networks> Access point names on Android or Settings> Cellular data> Cellular data network> Access point on iOS to update the Free access point (APN).
Why switch to IPv6?
Since 2019, there are no more IP addresses in Europe due to a shortage in IPv4. The latter is due to the very architecture of the system. Indeed, IPv4 includes 4 numbers between 0 and 255, which results in an address similar to this: 192.168.1.1. In total, these are 4 billion possibilities that the system offers. A significant figure, of course, but which quickly became insufficient in the face of the exponential increase in the number of devices connected to the Internet. Result: Some users must share the same IP address, which can lead to geolocation problems, among other things.
Arcep therefore recently forced Orange, SFR, Bouygues and Free to switch to IPv6, in view of the arrival of 5G. This new version uses this time 8 blocks each consisting of 4 characters, which can be both numbers and letters. Thanks to this system, 3,438 addresses are ready to be assigned, which should solve the problem for quite a while. After 99% of Free’s fixed subscribers have switched to IPv6, the field is now open for mobile users. The technology will also allow regulate the price of IP addresses which has skyrocketed with the shortage.
Source: Freebox Universe