Although many IT guys still prefer to work with IPv4, its replacement is already here, IPv6. The shortage of IPv4 is a big issue, and the world keeps going, so it’s time to let it go. The final countdown for IPv4 is running. Let’s talk about what IPv6 has in store to make the best out of it!
What is it?
IPv6 is the newest version (sixth) of the Internet protocol (IP). Internet protocols are sets of rules for devices to accomplish to send and receive data. This exchange of data occurs between a host and a destination (another host). Therefore, hosts must be identified. Their location is tracked through their corresponding IP addresses, and a route to reach their destination is defined for the complete data exchange to happen.
Something interesting it’s that IPv6 has been around for more than twenty years. It was officially introduced in 1995. A long time ago, the Internet’s success and the massive growth of devices demanding connection pointed out that IPv4 wouldn’t be enough to satisfy such need. IPv6 got developed and ready to use, but people seemed not ready to quit the use of IPv4. The transition to IPv6 is taking a long time.
Try to calculate the number of tablets, smartphones, computers, and the millions of Internet of things (IoT) that daily request an individual, unique IP address to connect to the web. That can give you a reference to understand how essential the role and the supply of IP addresses are.
- IPv6 provides 128-bit addresses, the solution not to face shortages as it happened with IPv4. An approximated of 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 available addresses. Some will be reserved for special use, but still, the supply will be guarantee.
- It will provide your network stateless address auto-configuration (SLAAC). It will automatically assign IP addresses for devices to connect. SLAAC will do the job of a DHCP server (dynamic host configuration protocol). The automation of this task is absolutely helpful in improving your network’s productivity.
- IPv6 incorporates IPSec. Through this Internet protocol security (IPSec), the recipient can check data’s origin. It involves a method for encrypting the communication, authenticating, and verifying the sender of data packets.
- It avoids fragmentation of packets. Fragmentation was an issue of IPv4. The cause of packets’ loss, man in the middle attacks, and more. This has been solved in the new version.
IPv6 address format
IPv6 addresses are built by eight sequences of four hexadecimal digits, all divided by colons. Every sequence represents 16 bits.
Example, Google’s IPv6 address: 2607:f8b0:4004:0807:0000:0000:0000:200e
Why use IPv6?
- If you own a network or a website, you need IP addresses for domain name resolution. Maybe you still use IPv4 and A DNS records for this purpose. But sooner than later, you will migrate to IPv6 and AAAA.
- For setting up network routing at your home or business. Just consider that older devices might not support the new IPv6. This can be the only downside.
- For connecting multiple devices and IoT easily. To do this requires many IP addresses. A way to solve this it’s the use of network address translation (NAT). It maps multiple local private addresses to a public IP address as a previous step to transfer the information. Using it, you can skip this step.
- For making different available services on the Internet, like web hosting, application hosting, etc.
- IPv6 architecture is compatible with the future Internet and its 5G. Be ready from now for a smooth transition.
Experience first-hand IPv6 benefits. Every day more devices support this IP version. Evolution doesn’t stop, and adaptation to the new conditions and standards is key to success!