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If I set up a web site and the web server only has IPv6, and my domain uses a AAAA DNS record instead of a A record, how does this affect my visitors?

Can only end users that have IPv6 on their client access my web site? if that is the case, is there any work arounds?

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2 Answers

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Users without an IPv6 connection will not have the possibility to connect to your server. There will be some workarounds such as using a tunnel or IPv6 proxies.

Normally it should not affect any of your visitors but there can be a few cases in which an AAAA-record is requested only (so the user does only get the IPv6 address) but the connection does not support IPv6 already thus making the website unaccessible for some users (this may affect 1 or 2 in 1000 users).

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1 or 2 in 1000? Here in Sweden IPv6 is very rare, and the biggest telecom company Telia sadly don't support IPv6. Okey, so they can not access the web site then, that was what I presumed. Thanks for the clarification. –  Jonas Oct 27 '10 at 13:31
@Jonas: 1 or 2 in 2000 will see the problem mentioned in which the the website is not available despite the fact that there is an IPv4 and IPv6 address in the DNS. This is because the program "thinks" there is IPv6 available at this connection and requests the IPv6 address but fails to make a connection. Most times it'll be fine if the connection only supports IPv4. –  neo Oct 28 '10 at 14:03
But the question was about IPv6 only in case the server doesn't have IPv4. –  Jonas Oct 28 '10 at 14:07
@Jonas Ok, I misinterpreted your question, I'll change my answer reflecting this information. –  neo Oct 28 '10 at 14:09
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IPv6 is backwards compatible. So anyone with an IPv4 connection will still be able to view your site. As for the AAAA record it should not affect anything because it is returning an IP address just like the (A) Host record does.

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I actually don't think that IPv6 is backwards compatible, but I'm not sure about that. As what I understand an A-record returns a IPv4 address and a AAAA-record returns a IPv6 address. I thought that this mean that if I only have a AAAA-record, the client has to connect to the server using IPv6, but if the client doesn't support IPv6, that's impossible. Or am I wrong? I am confused. –  Jonas Oct 26 '10 at 17:53
@Jonas - Sorry let me be clearer... IPv6 is backwards compatible if special techniques are used. Read more here tcpipguide.com/free/t_IPv6IPv4AddressEmbedding.htm. –  Jeremy Oct 26 '10 at 18:07
So you mean that the visitor doesn't has to do anything, even if they only has support for IPv4? –  Jonas Oct 26 '10 at 18:12
From Wikipedia: For deployment, IPv6 is largely incompatible with IPv4 at the packet level, and translation services have practical issues that make them controversial. IPv6 and IPv4 are therefore treated as almost entirely separate networks with devices. –  Jonas Oct 26 '10 at 18:14
If an AAAA-record do the same thing as an A-record, why do we have AAAA-records? –  Jonas Oct 26 '10 at 19:06
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