Needless to say, we all have heard the term IP address. What is it? Well, it is a unique identifier assigned to your devices on the network. If you want to communicate or exchange information with other devices that are connected to the Internet then this IP address is the spokesperson.
We lately hear the term IPV6. What is it? Why do we need it? What is the difference between what we are using now?
Let’s answer these questions now.
What is IPV6 and Why do we need it?
Despite the version 6 coming to existence, most of the Internet traffic today is routed by IPV4. Internet Protocol version 4 was released in 1983 and is widely popular until today. Then, why do we need IPV6?
IPV4 uses a 32-bit address string. Quad dotted address string basically consists of three digits separated by a dot. On the whole, 4.2 billion unique addresses are generated, but large blocks are reserved for special networking issues.
With the growing creepers of wireless networks and the internet in general, it was estimated that the unique IPV4 addresses may exhaust one day, albeit the billion sounds huge for us. It was anticipated to run out in the 2010s but, the incessant selling and reusing of the addresses dint make it happen. But, the developing countries are already victims of this shortage. However, considering the importance of the network layer, a new IPV6 was standardized for more availability.
Internet Protocol Version 6 became a draft in December 1998 and claimed as an official Internet Standard on 14 July 2017. IPv6 protocol uses a 128-bit address. It consists of eight numbered strings, each containing four characters (alphanumeric) and separated by a colon. The number of unique addresses it generates are huge, 40,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 to be precise and sufficing our need at the movement. With this large train of addresses, it is clear that we are nowhere near to running out of IP addresses. The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 will allow each device to have its own unique IP address.
Changing with the changes
If you are confused about whether you need it right now. The metamorphosis from IPV4 to IPV6 doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process. So, take no worries. However, one must be equipped with the knowledge to get yourself ready when IPV6 takes over.
The reason for its slow adoption ascribes to various factors, including cost, the complexity of migrating from IPv4 to IPv6, and existing workarounds and general activity.
Initially, the two versions were impossible to be interoperable and thus communication between these two is out of the question. But, several transition mechanisms came into the picture to resolve this. Moreover, the concept of Dual Stack Support is in the talk. That is, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will offer support for both the IP versions. This is beneficial as it allows any device connected to the network to communicate despite whatever IP version is used.
Whatever the reasons may be, whatever the complexity may be, the need for IPV6 is inevitable. The user experience would be jeopardized without version 6. Programs wouldn’t respond soon and communication with other devices will also be difficult. Moreover, the speed of the Internet and other services that it provides would majorly be affected. Though the journey is slow and long, reaching the destination is inexorable.