Recently in World Wide Web, we have heard one word a lot of times – i.e., IPv6. Let us have a byte of it.
Now a days, Internet is the way of doing things. If you have ever wondered how it works – then TCP/IP is the answer for it. Everything in this world works with some rules and procedures. And so is the Internet. In technical terms, these rules are called as Protocols. So TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and IP(Internet Protocol) are the set of rules that help in the working of Internet. TCP/IP protocol was invented by Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn who are known as father of Internet. These protocols handle the transfer of data packages between two computers in Internet.
So you may be knowing IP addresses. Every computer connected to the Internet will be assigned a unique identification number that uniquely identifies it across the globe. These addresses are called as Internet Protocol Addresses (IP Addresses). These may be static or dynamic. Static means a computer will have the same address every time it is connected to Internet. Dynamic address changes every time when a computer gets connected to Internet.
Till now these addresses were 32-bit addresses i.e., address with 3 dots in between such as 126.96.36.199. It was 4-byte address. Due to increase in the number of internet users in recent days, these addresses are about to exhaust. If these addresses got over, then we won’t be having any addresses to assign remaining devices that will be connected in future. It means that using 32-bit addressing mechanism we can address 2 ^ 32 = 4 294 967 296 computers. After that we won’t be left with any addresses. This is known as IP version 4 (IPv4).
So international organizations have decided to implement 128-bit IP addresses which contains 6 parts in its addresses. This is known as Internet Protocol version 6 address
(IP v6). The address format of IPv6 will be something like 3ffe:1900:4545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf
One thing to notice here is that it contains hexadecimal numbers also. Using IPv6 we
can address 2 ^ 128 = 3.40282367 × 1038 devices, which is very huge number. So using this address format we can assign unique IP address to each particle on the earth. What else you want?
What changes are required?
To adopt this IPv6, there are lot of changes need to be done. First of all Network Service Providers must replace their Switches and Routers with new ones that are capable of tackling with IPv6 addresses. This involves lot of investment. And all the users with old computers need to change their Network Interface Cards(NIC) with new ones. But it takes years to completely adopt this new system.Till then both IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist. This is all about IPv6.