What is IPv6 ?
IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) is the latest version of the network layer Internet Protocol. IPv6 is designed to be the successor of IPv4, which is the protocol predominantly in use today. IPv6 has quite a few improvements and additional features.
"One main distinguishing characteristic of IPv6 is that that there are 2128 addresses. That's 3.4028 x 1038. To put that in perspective, there are only about 1019 grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. If you assigned an IPv6 address to each grain of sand, each one could have more than a billon billion addresses."
What are various features of IPv6 ? How is IPv6 different from IPv4?
IPv6 salient features and differences from IPv4 are:
- Larger Address Space – 128 bit address in IPv6 as compared to 32 bit IPv4 address
- Auto configuration – Plug n Play possible with IPv6
- Link-local addressing – Possible with IPv6
- Mobility – Mobile IPv6 for mobile networks / terminals
- Security – IPSec is mandatory
- Simple Header – IPv6 header is simple with many fields removed.
How will be change affect your Computer ?
You need to have Windows Vista or Windows 7 to operate on most modern IPv6 networks. The latest version of each Linux distribution should work as well. Here is list of all OS supporting IPv6 at below URL.
How will the change Affect your Modem ?
If you have MTNL as your ISP, you have a DSL Router / Modem supplied by MTNL. Presently, ADSL Modems "Beetel – 450TC1" & "Binatone DM 856W" being supplied by MTNL supports IPv6. It is important to note that if both IPv4 and IPv6 are enabled and the content being accessed is also enabled over IPv4 and IPv6, IPv6 will generally be preferred. Comcast – a committee on IPv6 says that they selected this approach to simplify the transition and help make the introduction of IPv6 seamless for end-users.
1. Abundant Public IP Addresses (128bits as compared to 32bit in IPv4) eliminating the use of Private IP Addresses and Address Translations at the Gateways for connecting to public network.
2. More Efficient Routing which increases the internet speed by about 2-3 times that of the current IPv4 for the same given bandwidth
3. More Efficient Packet Processing by eliminating repeated error checking at IP layer.
4. Directed Data Flow with greater support for multicast and flow labels enabling Quality of Service implementations for various applications.
5. Simplified Network Configuration- The client machines can configure unique public IP address automatically
6. Support for new services with end to end IP connectivity without NAT gateways.
7. Security by providing confidentiality, authentication and data integrity.