IPv6 – Internet Protocol Version 6 is also called as IPng (Internet Protocol next generation) which is the newest version of the IP Address developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) which was launched to replace the older version IPv4 i.e currently in use.
Only slight variations are between IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses whereas IPv6 can be used as source and destination to transfer packets over the network and tools for testing the network i.e Ping do work in IPv6.
IPv6 is the Internet protocol used for packet Switching and provides end-to-end datagram transmission across multiple IP networks following the principles of design that was developed in Internet Protocol Version 4. AS I have clearly mentioned above IPv6 address is 128 bits and the representation is by eight groups of four hexadecimal digits while each group is separated by a colon.
If you take a look at Fig. A, you can see the IPv6 Address in hexadecimal.
Eg: IPv6 address – 2001:0DB8:0000:0042:0000:8A2E:0370:7334
After translating to the 16-bit values.
In IPv6, an IP Address from 32-bit IPv4 can be changed to the new 128-bit address system. IPv6 has backward compatibility with IPv4.
For example, the IPv4 address “18.104.22.168” may appear in IPv6 notation as “0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:FFFF:93A2:0A14” or “::FFFF:93A2:0A14”.
IPv6 Address Types
How you are familiar with the Class in IPv4 Address but IPv6 doesn’t use the classes concept but they supports the following three types,
Unicast IPv6 Addresses
An Address for the Single Interface. When a packet is sent to an Unicast address it is delivered to the interface identified by the address.
Multicast IPv6 Addresses
Both the IPv4 and Ipv6 multicast addresses are the same. Sending Packets to multicast addresses will deliver the packets to set of all the Interfaces.
Anycast IPv6 Addresses
Anycast IPv6 addresses are similar to but more efficient than the anycast addresses in IPv4. IPv6 uses anycast to identify multiple interfaces. But while sending the packets it will deliver to anycast address that is the nearest Interface to the identified address.
Benefits of IPv6 over IPv4
One of the Improvements in IPv6 over IPv4 is the length of the IP address changed from 32 bits to 128 bits.
- It has the larger address space, unlike the IPv4. To be exactly 2128 or approximately 3.4×1038 addresses.
- Multicasting – transmitting the packets to multiple destinations in a single send operation.
- Stateless address autoconfiguration- IPv6 hosts are automatically configured when connected to an IPv6 network using NDP via ICMPv6.
- An added network layer security was focused and originally developed on IPv6.
- IPv6 doesn’t perform fragmentation because it is required to send only the lesser packets size than the default Maximum Transmission Unit(MTU).
- Doesn’t include a checksum in the header.
- True quality of service (QoS), also called “flow labeling”
- Built-in authentication and privacy support
- Flexible options and extensions
- Easier administration – No more use of DHCP.
- Not more NAT using Private IP Address for the internal network since IPv6 isn’t going to exhaust like IPv4.