IPv6: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Internet Protocols

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-06-05
 
 
 

Difference Between IPv4 and Ipv6

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are unique numeric identifiers needed by every Internet-connected device. Most of the Internet is currently addressed with IP version 4 (IPv4) addresses; however, IPv4 was not designed for a Global Internet with billions of users. After it became clear in the early 1990s that a global commercial Internet would emerge, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) began development of a new protocol (IPv6) that would meet its needs by offering a much larger IP address pool.

Difference Between IPv4 and Ipv6

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)

IP addresses are assigned, managed and distributed by global, nonprofit organizations. IP addresses are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which has overall responsibility for the IP address pool, and by the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) Organizations to which IANA distributes large blocks of IP addresses. RIRs manage, distribute, and publicly register IP addresses within their respective regions. They do this according to policies that are developed within their respective regional communities, through open and bottom-up processes.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)

Out of IPv4 Addresses

According to the Number Resource Organization, the world officially ran out of IPv4 addresses in February 2011 when the IANA IP address pool was depleted.  This means if you're interested in moving onto the Internet in its current form, you're too late.  The Internet is completely full.

Out of IPv4 Addresses

Geographic Differences

The final allocations of IPv4 to the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) Organizations will soon be depleted. Based on the current rate, the remaining IPv4 address pools held by the RIRs are likely to be depleted globally in the next few years. The Asia-Pacific region has depleted its unrestricted IPv4 resource pool and new Internet growth in the region will require transitioning to IPv6.  All other regions will soon be in the same situation.

Geographic Differences

IPv6 Is the Successor to Ipv4

IPv6 is the successor to IPv4.  The Internet will use both versions for many years, with IPv6 becoming the most utilized. It functions similarly to IPv4 in that it provides the unique, numerical IP addresses necessary for Internet-enabled devices to communicate. However, it does sport one major difference: It uses 128-bit addresses. IPv6 has significantly more address space, which makes the IP addresses look different. A typical IPv6 address has eight groups of four letters and numbers separated by colons and looks like this: 2001:DB8:BE:C001:1234:ABCD:22:1, compared with IPv4, which uses 32-bit addresses and looks significantly smaller: 198.51.100.14.

IPv6 Is the Successor to Ipv4

IPv5 Anyone?

If you're wondering what happened to IPv5, also called the Internet Stream Protocol, it was developed in the 1980s as an experiment.  It was created to transmit audio, video and simulations over the Internet. It was never used as an official protocol. In its original form, IPv5 was never widely distributed. It was, however, adapted and developed into what's now known as ST2.

IPv5 Anyone?

Negative Impact

Not deploying IPv6 will negatively impact you, sooner or later. A lack of Internet addresses means that networks are coping by trying to reuse existing addresses among more customers, which can disrupt some of your favorite Internet applications, so services that allow for incoming connections, such as gaming, will become difficult to use. Similarly, as more of the world is connected directly by IPv6, they won't connect directly to your Website or applications and services unless they are offered over IPv6.

Negative Impact

The Time Is Now

The time to deploy IPv6 is now. For network operators and other entities relying on Internet numbering allocations, it will become increasingly difficult and expensive to obtain new IPv4 address space. The cost and complexity associated with keeping track of and managing remaining IPv4 address space efficiently will also increase. To ensure long-term network growth and global connectivity, network operators and enterprises need to implement IPv6. 

The Time Is Now

IPv6 Is the Future

IPv6 is the future. An enormous amount of IP address space exists under IPv6. IPv6, in fact, was specifically designed to fix the address limitations of IPv4. This addressing capacity will enable more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses of new Internet addresses needed to support connectivity for a huge range of smart devices such as phones, household appliances and vehicles.

IPv6 Is the Future

June 6 launch

World IPv6 Launch: June 6.  During this landmark event, organized by the Internet Society, major Websites, network access providers and home router vendors are permanently enabling IPv6 as part of their regular business operations. This marks the beginning of a new phase in the life of the Internet, when IPv6 begins to become a normal part of the Internet experience for everyone. Join the launch here.

June 6 launch

Rocket Fuel