With the vast increment of the internet users worldwide and the explosive growth in smart phones, tablets and computers, IPv4 addresses are vanishing at a rapid rate. According to Cisco, almost 80 different products are connecting to the internet every second as of 2013, and this number might increase to 250 devices per second by 2020.
To solve this issue, Internet Protocol version 6 also known as IPv6 was introduced in 1998. IPv6 is the latest version of Internet Protocol (IP), this communications protocol identify and locate devices on networks and gives traffic routing on the internet. IPv6 was created by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to solve the issue of the exhaustion of IPv4. IPv6 is replacing IPv4 since IPv4 offers only a maximum of 4.3 billion unique IP addresses. On the other hand, IPv6 offers approximately 340 trillion trillion trillion IP addresses. To be exact, IPv6 offers 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 IP addresses. This huge difference in the number of IP addresses is due to the fact that IPv6 uses 128 bits while IPv4 uses 32 bits.
In addition to the larger addressing space IPv6 provides, it has other benefits as it allows hierarchical address allocation methods that facilitates route aggregation across the internet, this results in limiting the expansion of routing tables. Moreover, the multicast addressing is expanded and simplified which provides further optimization for service delivery. IETF took other factors into consideration when designing IPv6 such as device mobility, configuration and security.
An example of IPv6 is the following address: 2001:0db8:85a3:0042:1000:8a2e:0370:7334. As you can see, the address contains eight groups of four hexadecimal digits separated by colons.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding IPv6, do not hesitate to contact us here as we support and provide IPv6 addresses.