Why Deploy IPv6 Standard? Why not IPv4 or IPv5?

So today, Internet’s IPv4 address space has been exhausted. Now more and more operating systems and devices support IPv6 standard than ever before. IPv6 has been considered as an emerging technology for more than two decades.

IPv6 is the latest version of the Internet Protocol that identifies device across the internet so that they can be easily located. Every device that uses the internet is recognized by its own IP address to make the internet connection work. However, previous version, IPv4, use a 32-bit addressing scheme to support 4.3 billion devices, which was thought to reach its saturation time. The advancement of the internet, personal computers, smartphones and now IoT devices prove that the world needed more addresses. And fortunately, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) created IPv6 standard that uses 128-bit addressing in order to support around 340 trillion trillion. The IPv6 standard makes use of eight groups of four hexadecimal digits, separated by colons.

Let us consider the reasons why IPv6 standard should be considered seriously:

  • End to end Connectivity

End-to-end connectivity has become increasingly significant specification in today’s day and age of interconnectivity. Apart from the security benefits, end-to-end connectivity is also a cause of much discussion among the gaming communities.

Many systems like Xbox Live actually tunnels IPv6 in IPv4 so as to work around the issues concerning the lack of end-to-end connectivity. Therefore, enabling IPv6 is the only viable option around as it provides a much better experience to its end users.

  • Minimized Network Complications

With the development of Network Address Port Translation (NAPT), we have developed a world where the de facto expectation is that end users have, at most, a single public IPv4 address and a translation device in their way. At worse, there are no public IPv4 addresses at the end user location; instead there is a series of NAPT and Carrier Grade NAT devices translating over and over again.

  • Support and Content at one common place

comes with far more support in hardware, software, and content than it was available even five IPv6 standard years ago. Common CPE management protocols are able to leverage IPv6 for daily operational needs. Moreover, content is also more widely available over IPv6 standard. Major content providers like Google and Facebook provide dual-stack content at scale. However, when deployed in a controlled way, the end user rarely comes to know that they are using IPv6 unless they particularly find out.

  • Enhanced Security and Efficiency with IPv6

Even if no other factor convinces you to take the first step towards adoption of IPv6 standard, there are some considerable benefits that you must take notice of:

  1. Increased Transparency- Direct node to node addressing with enhanced connectivity and more efficient processing, together with easy management, troubleshooting, etc.
  2. Enhanced Mobility- No loss in connection when moving across different networks, less routing bandwidth, built-in optimization support, therefor resulting in uninterrupted mobility.
  3. Compulsory Security- End-to-end encryption, thus making it much challenging for cyber attackers to observe or manipulate traffic between two hosts. Moreover, it also comes with integrity checking and IPsec support is always available.

As IPv6 standard is being deployed all across the globe, IPv4’s role is getting dimmer and organizations depending on IPv4 as the only method of connectivity will risk their business and their budget as well. There was also an IPv5 known as Internet Stream Protocol that was designed for connection-oriented communications across IP networks with an aim of supporting both voice and video. But one downside that undermined its use was its 32-bit address scheme, same as that of IPv4. And this ultimately led to the adoption of IPv6 standard.