Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What is IPv6? Why we need IPv6 and advantages of IPv6


Internet protocol is a set of rules or mechanism that defines how communication should take over through the network or internet. Each computer on a network needs a unique address to identify itself like each house has a unique address in a city this unique address which assigned to a computer is called IP Address. The current version of Internet protocol is IPv4 (internet protocol version 4) which is 30 years old since it was created in 1970. The IPv4 is represented as 4 octets; each octet represented in decimal digits ranging from 0 to 255 and separated by a dot for example Each octet is 8 bits and four octets constitute 32 bit address space. . 4.3 billion addresses can be utilized using IPv4. But the internet is now running out of addresses due to the addition of lot of devices into internet such as desktops, laptops, servers, tablets, netbooks etc. all need an IP Address.

The IETF (internet engineering task force) came up with a new version of IP called IPv6 or IPng (next generation internet protocol) which resolves the IP address deficiency by providing billions of addresses. The IPv6 shifts to 128 bit IP address space thus providing 340 x 10 to the power of 36 addresses therefore its enough for each person in the world to have an IP address. Each Address is broken into 8 sets of 4 hexadecimal characters as follows

Each hexadecimal character is represented in 4 bits therefore each 4 hexadecimal character group is 16bits, all together constitutes 128 bit length address . IP v6  uses mandatory IPsec a security feature to encrypt ,  decrypt and authenticate  data packets so that the data will be much harder to hack  while transmission.  

  • Solves the addressing limitation of IPv4
  • Provides improved security features as it has capabilities for verifying address as well as establishing trust between routers
  • IPv6 is backward compatible with IPv4
  • Provides Better performance and reliability