The TCP/IP version 6 or IPV6 is the latest version of the Internet Protocol addressing system which identifies devices across the internet so that they can be located. Due to the huge increase in Internet users and devices all over the world, the IPV4 addresses are on the brink of exhaustion. So, to ensure the availability of the new IP addresses, the next generation protocol IPV6 was introduced to support continued innovation and expansion of Internet technology.
To understand what new is there in the IPV6 addressing system, the following mentioned points might be of help.
- Addresses are 128-bit Hexadecimal: The IPV6 addresses are 128-bit in length as compared to a 32-bit length IPV4 address. The address is divided into eight groups each containing 16 bits. Each group is separated by a colon and expressed as 4 hexadecimal digits.
- Different Header for different types of addresses: IPV6 uses specific headers for different types of addresses like for example the link local unicast address begins with FE80, multicast address with FFxx, and so on.
- Traditional Subnet Mask is not needed: Every IP address in IPV4 comes with a corresponding subnet mask but in IPV6 the subnet mask is already present in the address. The IPV6 address is divided into two parts, the network and the device component. In the network component, the first 48 bits represent the network prefix and the last 16 bits represent the subnet ID. The device components 64 bits represents the Interface or Device ID.
- Tunnels its way across IPV4 networks: The IPV6 uses Teredo and 6to4 tunneling technologies to flow across an IPV4 network. Since IPV6 is not compatible with IPV4 networks, the tunneling process encapsulates the IPV6 packets inside the IPV4 packets which allows it to transmit across the IPV4 network.
- System might be using IPV6 already: Microsoft has already begun to install and enable IPV6 by default in the systems. So, your computer got Windows, it could be broadcasting IPV6 without your knowledge.
Benefits Of IPV6:
- Efficient Routing: It reduces the size of the routing table and supports efficient and hierarchical routing process.
- Efficient Packet Processing: The packet processing becomes easy due to IPV6’s simplified header and contains no IP level checksum.
- Directed Data Flows: It supports multicast which allows bandwidth intensive packet to get transmitted to multiple destinations simultaneously saving the network bandwidth.
- Network Configuration Simplified: It supports address auto-configuration by appending link layer address (converted to 64 bit EUI format) of the host to the 64 bit local link prefix sent by the router.
- Security: The implementation of the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMPV6) for IPv6 is allowed as IPSec is applied to the ICMPv6 packets that provide authentication, confidentiality, and data integrity.
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