Happy World IPv6 Day. So, what is IPv6?

Today is June 8th—World IPv6 Day. Everyone at Smart Solutions would like you wish you Happy World IPv6 Day.

So what is IPv6?

The Internet operates by routing small packets of data independently across networks as specified by an international communications protocol known as the Internet Protocol (IP). Each packet of data contains two numeric addresses that are the packet’s origin and destination devices.

Since 1981, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) was the publicly used version of the IP, and it is currently the foundation for most Internet communications. The growth of the Internet has mandated a need for more addresses than what IPv4 can provide. Its successor—Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) allows for vastly more addresses.

IPv6 allows the ability to build larger and more efficient networks and support greater international interoperability. Businesses can implement better just-in-time processes, increase mobility features and location-based services, leading to greater economies of scale. Examples include access to information in real time and increased remote business capabilities.

IPv6 versus IPv4

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)
Address Size 32-bit number 128-bit number
Address Format Dotted Decimal Notation:
Hexadecimal Notation:

Table courtesy of American Registry for Internet Numbers

IPv4 currently supports a maximum of about 4.3 billion (4,294,967,296) unique IP address. IPv6 supports 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses. Try reading that number.

With the enormous growth for the need for new IP addresses, switching to IPv6 is the answer. IPv6 should meet the world’s IP addressing needs well into the future.

Benefits of IPv6

IPv6 implements additional features not present in IPv4.

IPv6 was designed with scalability and extensibility in mind. This allows many different kinds of devices besides personal computers, like mobile phones, notebooks and wireless handheld devices, to engage in using the Internet.

IPv6 simplifies aspects of address assignment, network renumbering and router announcements when changing Internet connectivity providers. Network security is also integrated into the design of the IPv6 architecture, and the IPv6 specification mandates support for IPsec as a fundamental interoperability requirement.

How about a fun IPv6 test?