Wednesday, June 6, 2012

IPv6! Now what the #$%! is that?

Well, for all those who just woke up, we are ushering in that era of the much awaited/debated version of ….


Technically, the IPv6 or Internet Protocol version 6 is nothing but ….

“a version of the Internet Protocol (IP) intended to succeed IPv4, which is the communications protocol currently used to direct almost all Internet traffic. IPv6 will allow the Internet to support many more devices by greatly increasing the number of possible addresses.


Now, if you are a tech-nerd, this is easy to understand.

BUT for the common day to day user, it may be news that if you are on the internet using any computer or other access device, you ARE assigned an IP address in order to communicate.

The below should help multilevel users of the internet, understand the IPv6 need factor and the transition intricacies better -

Why IPv6?

<…That ladies and gentlemen was Vint Cerf, who is the ‘Chief Internet Evangelist at Google’, and …. a founding father of the Internet.

In there, he discussed the next version of the Internet, IPv6. Now that’s what I call straight from the horse’s mouth! >

Until recently, IPv4 has been scaling smartly WRT the expanding Internet and networked devices.

IPv4 “allows 32 bits for an IP address, and therefore has 232 (4 294 967 296) possible addresses. IPv6, which was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to deal with this long-anticipated IPv4 address exhaustion, uses 128-bit addresses, allowing 2128 (approximately 3.4×1038) addresses. This expansion can accommodate vastly more devices and users on the internet as well as providing greater flexibility in allocating addresses and efficiency for routing traffic. It also eliminates the primary need for network address translation (NAT), which has gained widespread deployment as an effort to alleviate IPv4 address exhaustion.

IPv6 is everything IPv4 is and more. In addition to the increase in addresses, IPv6 also

“…simplifies aspects of address assignment (stateless address auto-configuration), network renumbering and router announcements when changing network connectivity providers. The IPv6 subnet size has been standardized by fixing the size of the host identifier portion of an address to 64 bits to facilitate an automatic mechanism for forming the host identifier from link-layer media addressing information (MAC address). Network security is also integrated into the design of the IPv6 architecture, including the option of IPsec.

Now, in order to switch or gracefully merge in IPv6, everything connected to the Internet need to update to the IPv6 protocol.

If you want to get an idea about the update in address techniques, which IPv6 will necessitate, head over to the Wikipedia link for the same.

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Addendum – Head here for the Google Tech-Know on IPv6