The internet has become a complex grid of interconnected users, devices, platforms, and so many other services that people use every day. Every device, which connects to the internet has its own unique identity, known as the IP address. The current industry norm for IP addresses is known as IPv4, which is now being replaced with IPv6, at a steady pace.
Here is all that you need to know about the IPv6 address, its advantages, and how it works.
What is IPv6?
Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is the latest version of the Internet Protocol after IPv4. This communication protocol provides identification and local systems for computers on the network and routes communications on the Internet. Each device that uses the Internet is identified by its IP address so that Internet communication can work properly.
Previous versions of IPv4 used a 32-bit addressing scheme to support 4.3 billion devices. With the rapid development of the Internet, personal computers, smartphones, and IoT devices, it is clear that connected devices require more addresses than the IPv4 address space.
IPv6 uses a 128-bit address, which allows approximately 3.4 × 10 ^ 38 addresses. IPv6 uses eight sets of four hexadecimal digits (separated by colons) instead of four sets of one to three digits IPv4 address methods.
Are there any performance benefits?
Enabling IPv6 probably won’t speed up your internet connection.
However, there are also notable benefits in IPv6 for mobile devices, which will be able to maintain the same address when moving from one connection to another — going from a 3G network to Wi-Fi provided by your local coffee shop, for example. Rather than picking up a new address from the new connection service, the mobile device can keep the same “home” address at all times. This removes the need for “triangular routing,” in which data sent to the mobile device must first go through the network of the mobile provider. These changes not only provide greater speed, simplicity, and usability but also make connections more resilient and secure. Given the prevalence of mobile devices today, this enhancement should be most welcome.
IPv6 also offers better autoconfiguration, with ICMP6 messages used to determine an appropriate address and configuration. Upgraded DCHP6 is also available for those who require more stateful control of network connections, and of course, conventional static address assignment is possible if needed. The combination of a wider address pool and a more sophisticated address structure solves a lot of address conflict issues, which arise most commonly when company mergers or takeovers lead to integration and readdressing of networks.
Advantages of IPv6
- Faster Speeds
- Stringer Security
- Routing efficiency
- Global Reachability
- Enhanced Encryption
- Higher Website Conversion
- Improved User Experience
- Better Customer Insights
Disadvantages of IPv6
- Conversion: IPv4 is still very popular. People and companies are taking their time to make the switch to IPv6.
- Communication: IPv4 and IPv6 machines cannot communicate directly with each other. They need in-between equipment to make that possible.
- Transition: For an individual to switch from IPv4 to IPv6, requires immense effort and countless hours.
- Readability: IPv6 subnetting is complicated to comprehend while remembering your IPv6 address is nearly impossible, unlike IPv4.
There are three addressing methods in IPv6 representation:
- Unicast: The unicast address identifies a single network interface. Packets sent to the unicast address will be delivered to the interface identified by the address.
- Multicast: Multicast addresses are used by multiple hosts called groups to obtain multicast destination addresses. These hosts do not have to be geographically together. If any packet is sent to the multicast address, it will be distributed to all interfaces corresponding to the multicast address.
- Anycast: Anycast addresses have been assigned to a group of interfaces. Any packets sent to anycast addresses will only be delivered to one member interface (probably the closest host).
Who should care about IPv6 addresses
IPv6 Network Layer protocol is an ideal preference for professional users as well as home-based users. It’s a perfect preference for:
- Network Engineers
- Tech Companies
- Data Centers
- Mobile Carriers
Eventually, we will all be using IPv6. The sooner you understand how this address space works, and how to implement IPv6 in your networks, the better.