December 3, 2021

What is IPv6 used for?

So, you want to know when and why should you use IPv6? You came to the right place. Let’s see why is better and for what to use it.

What is IPv6?

IPv6 is the 6th version of the IP, the internet protocol. The IPs are a combination of rules the device must follow in order to send and receive data from a host to the destination. We need to have identifiable hosts with their locations – IP addresses and a route for the communication. 

Back to the IPv6, it has been around since forever, 1995! The strange thing is that there has been a shortage of available IPv4 addresses and various more complications. Still, most of the businesses use the previous IPv4 standard. Since 2017 it became an Internet Standard (IETF) to expect the use of IPv6 to start growing soon. 

What makes IPv6 better than IPv4?

The new IPv6 has 128-bit addresses, which will provide more than we possibly need available IP addresses. More than a thousand addresses, in comparison with around 4 Billion addresses of the IPv4. 

IPSec is another great innovation. It is an authentication method that encrypts the communication and verifies the sender of the packets. That way, the receiver can check the origin of the data. 

SLAAC – stateless address auto-configuration. In a new network, where you are using IPv6, you can use the SLAAC for a new host’s auto-configuration without the need for a DHCP server. The 64-bit prefix of the IPv6 address will get assign, and the device can connect to the network. DHCP can still be used with IPv6 addresses too. 

No packets’ fragmentation. Now we don’t have the fragmentation problem of the previous IPv4 address that could lead to various problems. 

For what is it used for?

Domain name resolving. You can use an AAAA DNS record that maps a domain name to an IPv6 address. You can have both A (IPv4 address) and AAAA records for the same domain. It is good to start using it on time.

Use IPv6 for IoT devices. Thanks to the massive amount of available IPv6 addresses, there is no need for NAT translation, and you can make IoT devices available easily.

Use it for hosting services and make them available on the Internet. Like IoT devices, you can create different types of servers like web hosting, NAS, application hosting, or another and make it available without DDNS or static IPv4 address.

IPv6 will allow seamless transition when you are changing from one connection like 5G to another Wi-Fi network. You can keep a VoIP call that started on a mobile 5G network and move it to your home or office Wi-Fi network.

Network routing. You can configure a network, business or home, with IPv6-only routers and fully use the new IP standard’s benefits. Although there are not so many of them, the problem will be with some old devices that they don’t support it.

Conclusion

IPv6 is the new standard, and we need to start adopting it fast. Dual-stack solutions are the current model, but we must think about the IPv6-only feature. It is better and easier to use IPv6 than IPv4. The current problem is that it does not work on all old devices, and it takes time to replace each one with IPv6-compatible fully.

Prepare now, and don’t worry about a future migration from IPv4 to IPv6. When the time comes, leave just the IPv6.

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