If you’re like most people, you probably don’t pay much attention to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) except when the bill is due and when you can’t get on the web.
However, there could come a point when your ISP isn’t up to snuff on current internet practices, meaning you’d miss out on a whole section of the internet that’s no longer accessible.
So what gives? What’s the difference between your ISP and another? Well, your ISP might not be RIPE NCC accredited, which makes a world of difference in your browsing experience.
Want to learn more about RIPE NCC and what it means for your internet career? Read on.
RIPE NCC is a membership organization for service providers and hosting services that distribute and manage IP addresses, as well as providing services for its members like training and Internet analysis.
RIPE is like the link between your ISP and the Internet itself – without an organization like this, many organizations wouldn’t have access to these IP addresses, meaning that they couldn’t allow you and other regular people to use them.
From the hosting service side, RIPE NCC offers their entire business – access to IP addresses and management of those addresses. This is vastly important for expanding the reach a hosting service has (while making sure the service can back up its claims about what it offers).
It’s also interesting to note that RIPE plays a large part in forming the future of the internet because of their role in transitioning to IPv6.
Why is this important? Well, it could just mean a massive difference between your IP address being compatible with the whole internet or not.
Most people don’t really understand the technicalities of an IP address, so we’ve tried to explain it in the simplest way possible.
Imagine you’re living in a neighborhood with a limited number of homes. Now obviously, if there’s an influx of people coming to your area, homebuilders need to start putting up new homes, right? Well, what if the city told them they are restricted to a certain number of homes regardless of how many new people move in?
This is IPv4, an internet IP space that is rapidly disappearing. This is because these IP addresses were assigned when the internet was first created when no one understood how large the Internet would become.
In the current year, we need a lot more IP addresses than what we have on IPv4.
So what’s the solution? Well, a new neighborhood gets zoned in this city, and it has space for a huge number of houses – way more than there ever were in your original neighborhood. You could build for centuries here!
That’s IPv6, the new IP address standard. The number of IP addresses it contains is roughly 340 trillion! That’s a whole lot of new IP addresses (and a whole lot of Internet real estate).
You might be wondering now why these terms even matter. Now that IPv6 exists, who cares? As long as everything is IPv6 compatible, it should be fine.
Well, that’s where the trouble starts. Not every website and provider currently access the IPv6 standard (despite the fact that it’s fairly easy to do using services like RIPE NCC).
So if your service provider only provides IPv4, you won’t be able to even access websites and other web services on IPv6. Eventually, that’s what the entire world will need to be on.
That’s what makes a RIPE NCC accreditation super important: you want to make sure that your service provider is up to snuff on their Internet access requirements, and a RIPE NCC membership is the easiest way to verify this.
From a hosting perspective, service providers should seek to use hosts that offer IPv6 – there’s really no way around it. Eventually, the Internet will be on IPv6. Why not start now?
While RIPE membership isn’t necessary to use IPv6, it does make it easier to know when services are compliant with the future of the Internet.
Essentially, RIPE NCC is an organization that distributes IP addresses. However, there’s a little more to the picture here because RIPE also serves as a way for service providers to prove that they offer what they say they offer.
This is the RIPE NCC accreditation, also known as a Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) Certification.
RPKI certificates make sure of a couple of things:
So why is this important for you?
Essentially, the RIPE NCC accreditation and RPKI certificate are ways for the end user to verify and fully understand the service they are being provided.
A service provider might say they provide IPv6, but unless you’ve seen their certification you never really know.
However, with a RIPE NCC accreditation, a service provider can provide proof that they are giving you the full breadth of the resources you pay for.
This is an incredibly important feature moving forward if you’re a person who cares about what parts of the Internet you can access (and you should).
Other than RIPE NCC accreditation, there are a bunch of other great features for RIPE members that make it worthwhile to be a part of for service providers.
Ultimately, as an end user, these things could mean the difference between a poor and a great Internet browsing experience.
RIPE members get some of these benefits:
All of these things are great for members of RIPE, but how do these things actively contribute to your experience as an end user?
Well, these factors can influence the way you browse the internet:
That’s not all, either. Luckily for Internet denizens, RIPE is also an organization interested in moving forward with and developing the Internet as a whole, meaning it’s a force for good in the Internet community. They even participate in Internet governance (which is a thing most people didn’t even know existed).
They offer news and Internet current events, serving as an open model for what the Internet should be.
As a member, your service provider will likely move towards that goal too – sweet!
RIPE NCC not only plays a role in the end user experience but also in the hosting service experience.
If you’re interested in looking into a hosting service, it’s good to understand whether or not a hosting service is RIPE NCC accredited because it could mean the difference between having or not having access to IPv6 (as well as a host of other features).
When you’re looking for a hosting service, you obviously want one with experience and a robust range of features, but if the service lacks basic functionality like IPv6 addresses, there’s bound to be a problem later on, especially if people can’t access your content.
Is RIPE NCC required for IPv6 connectivity? No, it’s not, but what RIPE NCC accreditation does do is prove that service is up to date. Sometimes, there’s not a price you can put on knowing the service you chose is the right one.
As a hosting service, RIPE NCC membership means making your service the best it can possibly be through training and database access. Plus, having RPKI Certification can mean the difference between getting or not getting a customer.
Now you’re an expert on RIPE NCC accreditation and RPKI certificates, so you know what to look for in hosting services and service providers.
Want to learn more about the Internet and how it works? Head on over to our blog, where we post articles about how things move behind the scenes, as well as how to be successful with your own endeavors online.
Interested in hosting your own website now? Look no further than Host.ie, which provides scalable hosting solutions (whether you’re a small business or a massive company). We also offer a host of different features, be it open source applications, email defense, VPS hosting, or website protection.
Questions and concerns? Contact us with anything you need.