TCP/IP version 6, what’s new and why is it important? | Blog

Jul 20
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TCP/IP version 6, what’s new and why is it important?

We all know that every device has a unique identifier to connect to internet which is known as IP address. IPv4 was the first type of IP address that was created. It was created in such a way that it could create 4.3 billion unique IP addresses. So, what was the need for IP version 6? As we all know, with the number of people using internet increasing every day, the 4.3 billion would not be sufficient any more. This gave rise to the new version IPv6 which can create many unique addresses than imagined. Researchers believe that this would be sufficient for a lifetime. IPv6 is designed in such a way that it can create more unique IP addresses. Ipv4 addresses were 32 bits long whereas Ipv6 addresses are 128 bits.

IPv6 is the future of IP addresses which gives the ease of automatic assignment and can handle huge number of requests and generate unique identifier. Most of the internet is still run using IPv4, but it may not be for long. With many people switching to internet for almost everything, every organisation needs to be prepared to adapt to IPv6 very soon. Outlined below are few advantages of switching to IPv6:

Security: Security has been a concern everywhere and many people are aware of the huge danger the hackers pose. I have known people who don’t use internet just because they think it is unsafe. With many incidents coming to light about data theft, it is very important to ensure that security is not compromised. With IPv6, though it is more complex, if configured properly data security can be ensured. One of the main features is data encryption. It was available as an option in IPv4, but it was not widely used. But with IPv6 it has become a norm and thus makes it more reliable.

Secondly, IPv6 has better secure name resolution which makes it more difficult for hackers to observe the data or manipulate it. If IPv6 is configured correctly this can be achieved.

Connectivity: When the unique identifiers ran out in IPv4 many people used temporary solution as NAT which enabled many users to have the same IP address. This is high risk issue and data can be compromised easily. With IPv6 this issue is resolved and connectivity between users is improved with unique identifiers for each user. Configuration team need not have to worry about all the firewall issues that were faced using IPv4.

Scalability: As mentioned earlier, the way IPv6 has been designed, it can produce more than trillion unique identifiers and hence systems or organisations need not worry about not having enough unique identifiers for a long time which is an another major advantage.

Ipv6 is definitely the future. Though it does not address all of the issues faced by users, with improved security and the accessibility to many users at a single point of time, many organisations are ready to explore it. There are still some issues where many legacy systems still work on IPv4 and how they can be upgraded to IPv6 still poses a problem. This will take time, but with the added features Ipv6 definitely looks promising.

Change is always difficult and it takes time to implement new things. But as well know, Change is the only thing that is constant in life. It is inevitable and it is the case with IPv6 too. With the rate of increase in the internet usage by users on an everyday basis, up gradation to IPv6 will happen soon. Configuring IPv6 is difficult as it is more complex, but if done properly, one can reap the benefits.

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