What do you need to know about IPv6?

Our topic today is exactly IPv6. This is a really important Internet Protocol type that you have to know. Why, you will see it later. Let’s start.

The purpose of the IPv6

IPv6 is the Internet Protocol’s sixth generation of the IP address. When sending and receiving data from a host to a destination, IPs are a set of rules that a device must obey. Therefore, a list of identifiable hosts, their locations, IP addresses, and a communication path will be necessary.

IPv6 has been around since 1995! Yet, strangely, IPv4 addresses have been scarce, among other concerns. Despite this, the majority of businesses still use the older IPv4 protocol. Moreover, IPv6 usage is expected to rise in the near future, according to an Internet Standard (IETF) published in 2017.

What is its structure?

An IPv6 address has a straightforward structure. It has a total length of 128 bits and is broken into eight 16-bit fields separated by colons. Every area must include a hexadecimal number, unlike IPv4 addresses, which utilize a dotted-decimal format. In addition a DNS record that resolves to an IPv6 address is known as a AAAA record.

IPv6 has the hexadecimal number system: the digits 0 to 9 as well as the letters “a,” “b,” “c,” “d,” “e,” and “f.” This is an example so you can visualize exactly what its structure is: 2009:2bc:5a9b:5007:0063:5001:4e5f:0c2b 

Types of IPv6

IPv6 addresses come in various forms and formats, but it’s worth noting that there are no broadcast addresses in IPv6. The following are some of the most popular ones:

  • Unicast – the purpose of these addresses is to identify a single interface/individual node
  • Anycast – these addresses describe a group of interfaces so that a packet submitted to an anycast address is routed to one of the members of the group.
  • Multicast – we use multicasts to send a single packet simultaneously to many locations. As a result, all of the group’s interfaces receive a packet sent to a multicast address.

Will Internet Protocol version 6 be the future?

Despite its advancements and the fact that it has already been on the scene for more than two decades, various reasons have delayed its arrival.

Initially, switching from IPv4 to IPv6 required a financial expenditure that not everyone could or wanted to make. Many different switches and routers are used in networks. It was expensive to replace this technology. When it came to managing their IPv4 pools, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) aimed to be as efficient as possible.

IPv4 and IPv6 had no compatibility issues. However, since millions of devices were already utilizing IPv4, many individuals chose to stick with IPv4 and wait for devices to shift to achieve compatibility gradually.

Before IPv6 was ready, developers tried to extend its life of IPv4. Different techniques, such as NAT, were developed with this goal (Network Address Translation). It became a very popular option because it was inexpensive and straightforward. However, to stay with more superficial and less expensive options or switch to new technology? Many people went with the first option.

In several circumstances, the migration to the new version was stymied by the user’s habit of working with IPv4. However, the introduction of IPv6 did not mean that businesses could no longer use the prior version.

Recommended article: DNS resolution: What triggers the entire process?

Conclusion

IPv6 has been around for a long time and is undoubtedly the way of the future. Smartphones, IoT devices, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets proliferate like mushrooms, and they all require Internet access daily. The change is unavoidable. IPv6 will be the way of the future!

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