IPv6 takes over IPv4
Ever since its introduction, internet has captured the imagination and lives of millions of users around the globe and is still growing steadfastedly. The Internet operates by transferring data between hosts in packets that are routed across networks in accordance with specific protocols. IP address of a host or user computer is a label assigned for host identification, just like a residential address. IPv6, a successor of IPv4, is a version of the Internet Protocol (IP) which is currently used worldwide for internet trafficking.
IPv4 provides around 4 billion IP addresses. IPv4 addresses are scarce in the present scenario as more and more devices are now being connected to the Internet. IPv6 expands the address space on the Internet from 32 bits to 128 bits. This enables an unlimited number of IP addresses and subsequently, an unlimited number of devices that can be directly connected to the Internet. IPv6 is also designed to solve many of the cons of IPv4 like mobility, autoconfiguration, and overall extensibility.It has 232 (4 294 967 296) possible addresses. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, for an address space of 2128 (approximately 3.4×1038) addresses. This expansion further contributes to extra flexible address allocation and traffic routing.
The present growth in smart phone usage has aggravated the necessity for IPv6. But to avail the benefits offered by IPv6 over IPv4 in full, majority of the hosts on the Internet and the networks connecting them need to adopt this protocol. Though the overall response has been quite slow, deployment of IPv6 is shooting up in the Asia-Pacific region and some European countries in comparison with America and Africa. IPv6 does not implement interoperability features with IPv4, and creates essentially a parallel, independent network. Exchanging traffic between the two networks requires special translator gateways, but modern computer operating systems implement dual-protocol software for transparent access to both networks either natively or using a tunnelling protocol such as 6t04, 6in4, or Teredo. In December 2010, despite marking its 12th anniversary as a Standards Track protocol, IPv6 is still at its infant stage in terms of general worldwide deployment. A 2008 study by Google indicated that penetration was still less than one percent of Internet-enabled hosts in any country at that time.