IPv6 is the internet’s latest generation of protocol which replaces the current version of IPv4. IPv4, while historically proven to be helpful and reliable, has run its course as there are no IP addresses available anymore for users to connect to. The introduction of IPv6 will ultimately allow more users and devices to interact with one another by increasing the size of numbers included in IP addresses and resulting in the creation of new ones. The introduction of IPv6 will allow the number of addresses to increase up to 340 trillion from 4.5 billion under IPv4. There are many advantages of switching from IPv4 to IPv6.
One obvious benefit is the ability to add more devices to the system. This process was restricted due to the dwindling number of addresses available under the IPv4 system. As addresses became scarce under the former structure, people were experiencing difficulties setting their devices up on a home or business network, or in the end were unable to at all. With more IP addresses available, anyone can set up their device with relative ease.
Security has improved with the introduction of IPv6 as it has a built-in feature called IPsec (internet protocol security), a group of processes that guarantees safe and secure communications over internet protocol networks. While such security measures were optional under IPv4, they are mandatory with the arrival of IPv6, guaranteeing maximum protection. The increase in available addresses also makes the scanning and identification process difficult for hackers. A major advantage of the IPv6 system is it uses 128-bit encryption so the security patch level is greater than the IPv4’s 32-bit encryption.
Another upgrade that IPv6 offers is multicast support. Multicast allows a user to send data to multiple recipients at once and stream media through a variety of devices as well. By sharing information across networks, IPv6 can efficiently control network traffic and reduce loads on the server and the device itself. The ability to multicast increases the efficiency and productivity of a small business by releasing information instantly and to multiple people at once.
The arrival of IPv6 has allowed for improvements in data transmission, allowing the user to send data packets up to 4gb in size as opposed to 64kb under the IPv4 system. The user can send more data at once which allows for a quicker process overall. With the increase of security measures under the IPv6 system, all data sent is safe and secure.
IPv6 has an innovative feature called autoconfiguration. This allows a user`s device to generate an IPv6 address as soon as the device turns on. There is no other process that needs to transpire for the device to gain access to the network. If a router is found by the device, it can access the internet. This feature is important in allowing multiple devices to connect to one network and has been deemed imperative in allowing mobile devices to connect with few steps to be carried out.
Many devices such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, and gaming systems still run off IPv4 but the introduction of IPv6 will not alter the user’s ability to still use them. IPv4 support will not be discontinued anytime soon because of the fact that it is still widely used. With the adoption of IPv6 comes a process called dual stack where IPv4 and IPv6 run simultaneously alongside each other to prevent any issues – this can be aided by IP address management software. This is not a permanent arrangement as steps are being made to transition all platforms running under the IPv4 system over to IPv6.