IPv6, the next generation Internet protocol, has been around for more than ten years, but has never seen any widespread adoption - until about a year ago, that is.

ipv6
Graphic by Arbor Networks.

In early August of 2008, uTorrent started to support IPv6 for its P2P traffic, and things changed drastically, according to a new blog post from Arbor Networks:

"In a dramatic reversal of long-term IPv6 stagnation, global IPv6 traffic globally grew more than 1,400% in the last 12 months. Even more remarkable, this growth is due primarily to one application and one ISP."


uTorrent's version 1.8 caused IPv6 traffic to increase 15-fold within ten months. But everyone's favored Bittorrent client couldn't completely turn IPv6's fate around, at least not on its own. Infrastructure improvements needed to be made to actually get more torrents to be swapped via the new protocol. That happened when Hurricane Electric booted up new IPv6 relays around the world this April, which gave IPv6 another huge push.

Of course, the Pirate Bay has been supporting IPv6 torrent clients since January, and currently around 200,000 users are connected to its trackers via IPv6.

IPv6 was originally invented to deal with the fact that more and more devices had a need for a finite amount of IP addresses. One interesting result of IPv6 will be that you won't need to deal with NAT anymore, which should make P2P much more efficient and accessible to the average user.

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