Oct 26

TCP/IP Version 6 What’s New, Why is it Important?


Internet Protocol Version 6, a next generation Internet Protocol that supplements or replaces IPv4 which is still used by many Internet services. Every computer, mobile phone, home automation component, and any other device connected to the Internet needs an IP address to communicate between other devices. Due to widespread usage the original IP address IPv4 is running out of addresses.

IPv6 represents a standardized process created by the Internet Engineering Task Force for the transmission of data packets in computer networks. IPv6, the network protocols of the TCP/IP family, forms the basis for internet communications and it is Layer 3 The Network Layer Protocol of the OSI layer model. IPv6 addresses the network elements and forwards the packets between subnetworks over IPv6 addresses.

IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, which are displayed in hexadecimal format for readability. While IPv4 uses 32 bits addresses. More unique IP addresses can be generated with 128 bits than 32 bits.

IPv4: 32 bit = 232 addresses = 4.3 billion addresses
IPv6: 128 bit = 2128 addresses = 340 sextillion addresses

IPv6 can be viewed as an investment in the future. Future trends such as the IoT suggest that the number of devices that connect to the internet and need to be clearly identifiable will grow drastically in the coming years.

Most internet users connect to IPv6, due to the expansion of the address space. However, the new standard also provides several features that can overcome the limitations of IPv4. IPv6 enables automatic address configuration via neighbor discovery as well as allowing multiple unique IPv6 addresses per host with different scopes to map different network topologies. In addition to the optimized address assignment, the simplification of the package header and outsourcing of optional information to header extensions for package transfers ensures faster routing. IPv6 has an integrated mechanism for the safety of quality service which prioritizes urgent packages and makes package handling more efficient. The fields Traffic Class and Flow Label are directly tailor to the QoS methodology.

Some of IPv6 benefits are as follow:

  • No Network Address Translation
  • Auto-configuration
  • No more private address collisions
  • Better multicast routing
  • Simpler header format
  • Simplified, more efficient routing
  • Good quality of service, also called Flow Labeling
  • Built-in authentication and privacy support
  • Flexible options and extensions
  • Easier administration, So no need of DHCP
  • The number of IPv6 addresses is 1028 times larger than the number of IPv4 addresses. So, there are quite enough IPv6 addresses to permit for Internet devices to expand for a really very long time.

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