IPv6 is the next generation Internet Protocol (IP) standard intended to eventually replace IPv4, the protocol many Internet services still use today. Every computer, mobile phone, and any other device connected to the Internet needs a numerical IP address in order to communicate with other devices. The original IP address scheme, called IPv4, is running out of addresses.
why IPv6 is important?
IPv6 is the latest version of the Internet Protocol, which identifies devices across the internet so they can be located. Every device that uses the internet is identified through its own IP address in order for internet communication to work. In that respect, it’s just like the street addresses and zip codes you need to know in order to mail a letter.
The previous version, IPv4, uses a 32-bit addressing scheme to support 4.3 billion devices, which was thought to be enough. However, the growth of the internet, personal computers, smartphones and now Internet of Things devices proves that the world needed more addresses.
Fortunately, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) recognized this 20 years ago. In 1998 it created IPv6, which instead uses 128-bit addressing to support approximately 340 trillion trillion (or 2 to the 128th power, if you like). Instead of the IPv4 address method of four sets of one- to three-digit numbers, IPv6 uses eight groups of four hexadecimal digits, separated by colons.
benefits of IPv6
In its work, the IETF included enhancements to IPv6 compared with IPv4. The IPv6 protocol can handle packets more efficiently, improve performance and increase security. It enables internet service providers to reduce the size of their routing tables by making them more hierarchical.