Sunday, 17 June 2012


IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is a version of the Internet Protocol (IP) that is intended to succeed IPv4, which is the communications protocol currently used to direct almost all Internet traffic. IPv6 will allow the Internet to support many more devices by greatly increasing the number of possible addresses.

Logo for IPv6

IPv6, like the most-comonly-used IPv4 (as of 2012), is an Internet-layer protocol for packet-switched internetworking and provides end-to-end datagram transmission across multiple IP networks. It is described in Internet standard document RFC 2460, published in December 1998. In addition to offering more addresses, IPv6 also implements features not present in IPv4. It simplifies aspects of address assignment (stateless address autoconfiguration), network renumbering and router announcements when changing network connectivity providers. The IPv6 subnet size has been standardized by fixing the size of the host identifier portion of an address to 64 bits to facilitate an automatic mechanism for forming the host identifier from link-layer media addressing information (MAC address). Network security is also integrated into the design of the IPv6 architecture, including the option of IPsec.

Compared to IPv4, the most obvious advantage of IPv6 is its larger address space. IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long and number about 4.3×109 (4.3 billion). IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long and number about 3.4×1038. IPv6's addresses are deemed enough for the foreseeable future.
IPv6 addresses are written in eight groups of four hexadecimal digits separated by colons, such as 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334. IPv6 unicast addresses other than those that start with binary 000 are logically divided into two parts: a 64-bit (sub-)network prefix, and a 64-bit interface identifier.

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