The Internet works through protocols which are numerical combinations that establish connections between computers. This means that whenever a user starts the Internet connection, a large number of numbers and addresses maintain said connection online, and thanks to that it is possible to track them to exchange data with her.
It is no secret to anyone that the generalization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), as well as the increase in devices connected to the network; they have caused the implementation of a new protocol for the internal functioning of the Internet is necessary. Thus, we refer to the IPv6 protocol that has supplanted IPv4, with which we have worked in recent years.
But well, surely you wonder what is the famous IPv6 and what is it for? Like its benefits and limitations, so here we will detail everything about it. Also taking into account other parameters of interest such as main differences with its predecessor.
What is IPv6 and what is it for in computing? Why has it become so necessary?
It is the abbreviation of the concept in English “Internet Protocol version 6” or the same as “Internet Protocol version 6” which is an updated version of the old IPv4. That is, the protocol that has been used since the 1980s and allowed both communication and the internal functioning of the network. But, since 2011, the IP addresses that it could assign were exhausted.
In this sense, IPv6 was produced from June 06, 2012, when it was officially released. However, it is not new because it began to be developed in 1998. Thus, the Internet Protocol in its version 6 was the beginning of a new Internet model that provides a system for identifying and locating computers or devices on networks and at the same time, routes traffic through the Internet.
This is currently the latest version on the internet (hence also known as the “Internet of the next generation”) and consists of a set of specifications from the Internet Engineering Working Group. In this way, it serves to identify various devices on the network so that they can be located.
Notably, has expanded capabilities and its growth has allowed current development to go through more modern large-scale deployments.
Now, you are surely wondering why this new protocol is so necessary today. Given this, we clarify that this is mainly due to the fact that emerges as an optimal response to the excessive increase in the number of connections that has occurred in recent times.
So, IPv6 has achieved expand the ability to generate new connections, significantly, thus supporting the growth of the network and excluding, in addition, the limitations of IPv4 that were already overcome by the generalization of the Internet.
In this way, it has allowed its progress to continue and supports the expectations of such long-term growth, which are focused on the development of the Internet of things.
What are the advantages and limitations of version 6 of the IP protocol?
For its part, it is of great importance to know what they are the most notable and important advantages and limitations compared to the latest Internet Protocol, that is to say, IPv6.
Next, we introduce you to each of them:
As it is the proxy for IPv4 and fully supports the progress of the Internet; of course it is a protocol that reveals lots of benefits to its users.
Meet the most important of them here:
- It guarantees that each person you can have your own addresses for all your devices. Since, the amount of IPv6 addresses is so high that up to 670 thousand billion addresses could be granted for every square millimeter of the Earth’s surface.
- Add the mechanism to its standard “Plug and play” and this makes it easy for users to connect their computers to the network. Taking into account that, in this way, the configuration is carried out automatically and with that, it will also be assigned one or more IPv6 addresses to a machine connected to such a network, automatically.
- It includes remarkable security in your specifications, as is the encryption of the information and also the authentication of the sender of that information. In other words, it provides greater privacy.
- Enter much more robust and efficient mobility mechanisms. This, apart from benefiting the users of telephony and mobile devices, also ensures good Internet connections during plane flights, for example.
- Provides optimized support for new options and additions, allowing for major improvements in the future. Thanks to the fact that it is clearly designed to be extensible.
- It offers an excellent improved compatibility for Quality of Service (QoS) and Class of Service (CoS).
- Contains new protocol for the interaction of neighboring nodes.
But, since not everything can be perfect, the IPv6 protocol also exhibits certain disadvantages or limitations that must be known.
Here are the main of these:
- Still, most networks are IPv4 and because of this, the full IPv6 implementation is considered very expensive and long termas it may take a long time to establish.
- So far, we cannot completely do without the IPv4 protocol. Because there are already many sites on the network that only have access through IPv6 and this means that it will be necessary to work in a double stack. That is, both in IPv4 and also in IPv6 simultaneously.
- In this recent protocol there is no NAT Or, the mechanism used by IP routers to exchange packets between two networks that assign mutually incompatible addresses.
- Layer 3 devices need to be IPv6 ready now. Otherwise, if they only work on IPv4, they would be devices completely obsolete.
- Although the foundations of IPv6 are perfectly well established, it is still considered a protocol that is in some details in development.
- This protocol can be harder to memorize.
IPv6 vs IPv4 How are they different and which is better?
It is also of great relevance to know how is IPv6 different from its predecessor, that is to say, of IPv4. To do this, keep in mind what improvements the most recent protocol has brought with respect to the progress of the Internet and at the same time, know which is the best between the two.
Ability to generate new IP addresses
Among all its distinctions, without a doubt, the most important is what is also known as “Bit address length”. In this sense, the Internet Protocol version 4 has managed to transfer addresses to 32 bits (or 4 bytes) with a capacity slightly greater than 4,000 million IP.
On the other hand, with respect to IPv6, this raises that capacity to 128 bits (or 16 bytes). This implies the generation of around 340 sextillion new IP addresses. Of course, the difference is abruptly noticeable between both types of protocols.
Another of the most important differences and at the same time, an advantage of IPv6 over its predecessor IPv4 is security. Since, the new Internet Protocol emits greater security and with it, cooperates in favor of the Digital Economy.
Thus, it is appropriate to note that the Internet Protocol version 6 is fully equipped with excellent cybersecurity measures, being these much more rigid than those of IPv4. In addition to this, it introduces the IPSec system which is responsible for shielding your IP address against any attack or unauthorized use.
It should also be noted that, while IPv4 does not provide encryption and authentication, IPv6 does always.
Expansion of all kinds of connected objects
A feature that is fully evident in the IPv6 protocol and in IPv4 no, is the expansion of all kinds of connected objects or, the Internet of Things. Likewise, the development of pillars of digital transformation, such as autonomous vehicles, BiG Data and the new telecommunications networks to support the Smart City.
Other relevant differences
Admits manual configuration and DHCP addresses Supports automatic configuration and renumbering addresses Addresses Broadcast
Address representation in decimal
Address representation in hexadecimal
Without end-to-end connection integrity capability Your end-to-end connection integrity capability it is reachable
In short, it can be stated that the IPv6 protocol is the best, compared to IPv4. Thanks to the fact that it shows a greater capacity, more coverage and completely improved characteristics to work for the advancement of the Internet, in general.
Can the version of the IP protocol affect my Internet browsing speed?
It has been estimated that the IPv6 protocol could progressively replace IPv4 and although it involves a large number of changes and improvements in all areas, the first negative result of it has not been expected. Which, it has to do with browsing speed.
In this sense, when carrying out an analysis of the websites that have adopted this new protocol after their training on the network, it can be seen that said web pages they are obviously slower than those that operate under IPv4. Which means, changing the IP protocol can influence your browsing speed, completely.
Thus, according to a latest report issued by a company that makes use of this protocol and of which we will not reveal its identity, it announced that access speed to IPv6 addresses is up to 80% slower than the one shown by the addresses with version 4 of the Internet protocol. Said loss of speed could pose a risk to the user experience and cause significant modifications when measuring and monitoring the performance of a website.
Then, We recommend you try our optimal Speed Test In order to verify how fast your Internet browsing is currently showing:
IPv6 test How do I know my IPv6 address?
In case you did not know, you can already know your IPv6 address from the famous IP test that handle many websites (we recommend using ours, which you can access from the link we offer at the end of the post).
For its part, it should be noted that this type of test works from certain mechanisms that they manage to identify your computer in a huge network. This, from an address that is unique, with respect to the rest of the users who manage the Internet and with which the servers and all the online services know where they should send the information you request while you browse any website.
Usually these IP Test They provide you with information similar to the one indicated below:
- The full number of your public IP address.
- The IP geolocation through a map composed of the latitude and longitude coordinates of your area. Including the Zip Code.
- In some cases, they show what is your Internet provider or ISP.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉