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IPv4 vs IPv6 – Why is IPv6 so important?

IPv6 is the newest version of Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification number and location for each of the world’s Internet-connected devices. As this infographic explains. if it weren’t for IPv6. the Internet would simply not be what it is today.

The Internet continues to grow and that growth will only be accommodated by IPv6 addresses. In the near future, there will be emerging populations of users and services that will be IPv6-only” – Shumon Huque, Lead Engineer for Networking & Telecommunications, University of Pennsylvania.


Every Internet-connected device in the world has its own unique IP address, which is required for websites to know where to send information any C time we perform a search or try to access a website.

A critical point in the history of the Internet was reached in 2011 with the allocation of the last remaining IPv4 addresses from a central pool of 4.3 billion, less than 1 IP address per person worldwide. IPv6 allows provision for 34o trillion trillion trillion IP addresses.

An insufficient number of IP addresses to meet global demand would have caused web programmes to shut down and computers to encounter great difficulty communicating with one another.

 It would also have increased the risk of your privacy being compromised, as websites would have encountered difficulty with distinguishing your computer from that of another user. Without IPv6, the growth of the Internet would have ceased and almost 3 billion people would never have had access to the world wide web. COUNTRIES WITH HIGHEST IPV6 ADOPTION RATES: 9 BELGIUM , SWITZERLAND 9 GERMANY ® GREECE (41.8%) (25.8%) (25.1%) (24.4%) 9 PORTUGAL LUXEMBOURG 9 USA ECUADOR (22.7%) (19.6%) (18.6%) (18.4%) O ESTONIA MALAYSIA (14.4%) (14.4%)

Large capacity for IP addresses , Automatic configuration of host devices, Anycast support, Simplified header, Almost instant routing, Mobility of hosts to roam different geographical areas while maintaining connection with the same IP address, Direct connectivity between all hosts on the Internet, Use of multicast to connect with multiple hosts, Extensibility of options


UNICAST An IPv6 host is uniquely identified in a network segment. Upon receiving a unicast IP packet. a network switch/router which is destined to a single host sends the packet to one of the outgoing interfaces connected to that particular host MULTICAST The packet destined to multiple hosts is sent via a special multicast address and all hosts in need of the information are required to have joined the multicast group first. All interfaces in the group will receive the packet and process it, while hosts outside of the group will ignore the multicast information. ANYCAST New to IPv6, Anycast means that multiple hosts are assigned the same IP address. A host uses a unicast message to communicate with a host that has an Anycast IP address and, thanks to an advanced routing mechanism, the message is delivered to the nearest host in terms of routing cost "IPv6 is inevitable. If you work in the IT/computing/networking field, it's a safe bet to assume that you'll need to know IPv6. Why not start now?" - Shumon Huque, Lead Engineer for Networking & Telecommunications. University of Pennsylvania.


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