What is IPV6?
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are a core part of how the Internet operates. Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the latest version of the Internet Protocol (IP) that provides an identification and location system of devices across the Internet. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) developed the IPV6 to eventually replace Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPV4) due to its long-anticipated problem of IP address exhaustion. While there are only 3.7 billion unique IPv4 addresses available for use on the Internet, the theoretical IPv6 address pool size is 340 trillion addresses. The Internet will expand immensely in terms of the number of people and devices connected with the adoption of IPV6.
Why is IPV6 important?
The main reason is to support the continuous evolution of the internet. There are 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide who currently have internet access, and this number is still rising. As the internet continues to grow, the supply of IPv4 addresses will not be able to meet the demand for IPv4 addresses. IPv6 addresses this massive problem that will occur in the future, as it is more than capable of taking on 100 trillion devices without an issue at all.
For the Internet Hygiene Portal, the focus for IPv6 is on security. IPv6 provides better security as it was developed with security in mind, and all of IPv4s optional security requirements are inbuilt compulsory requirement in IPv6.
How does IPv6 work?
IPv6 is a network layer protocol for packet-switched internetworking and provides end-to-end datagram transmission across multiple IP networks. Somewhat loosely, IPv6 follows the same design principles and concepts as its predecessor, IPv4. However, the significant difference of how IPv6 works is on two major portions - address space and security. IPv6 solves address exhaustion by using 128 bits to cater for more IP addresses. IPv6 also enforces security by using an inbuilt internet protocol security which encrypts and authenticates all IPv6 traffic, something that was only optional for IPv4.
IPv6 provides inbuilt security protocols (IPSEC) which allows for encryption and authorization of all IPv6 Traffic. IPv6 provides a greater address space which caters for the future expansion of internet devices.
- [CISCO] IPv6 Adoption Statistics
- [Google] IPv6 Adoption Statistics
- [Internet Society] World IPv6 Launch Statistics
- [APNIC] What is IPv6?
- [Internet Society] What is IPv6?
- [Internet Society] Who created IPv6 and how long has IPv6 been available?
- [ITU] Promoting IPv6 deployment and infrastructure security
- [M3AAWG] Policy Issues for Receiving Email in a World with IPv6 Hosts
- [RIPE] IPv6 Information Centre
- [Statista] Number of internet and social media users worldwide as of July 2022