We say a lot, and literally too! IPv6 – a new standard which permits creation of trillions of new internet protocol (IP) addresses – has been officially adopted. Set to replace IPv4 that has been in use since 1982 and has nearly exhausted its unallocated internet address space, IPv6 launch heralds in with a lot more room and a lot more promise. Here’s how.
It is common knowledge that every device which connects to the internet, computer or mobile, is assigned an IP address – a numerical label assigned to each device on the network using IP for communication. IP serves two functions: network identification and location addressing. For the last 30 years, we have been using IP version 4 to define an address. However, we are now in dearth of new addresses. This is because IPv4 addresses are limited to a length of 32 bits, which allows only for about 4.3 billion addresses. With a mad gold rush for internet-enabled mobile devices, this poses to be a serious problem as we will soon run out of the limited supply of IPv4 addresses for our population of nearly 2.5 billion people and 11 billion internet-enabled devices across the globe, with respective statistics slated to double in just a few years.
This is where IPv6 comes to the rescue. With an address size of 128 bits, the new, larger IPv6 supports more than 3.403×10^38 unique addresses (that’s 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses), acceptably enough to accommodate for an unknown future.
Many leading websites have already switched permanently to the new protocol as part of World IPv6 Launch, including Google, Yahoo, Bing and Facebook. And while IPv6 is not inherently faster, for devices now supporting cloud services and theirimminent transition into next-generation4G broadband services, which is to support Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, IPv6 launch comes as helpful aid to the growing digitization and virtualization of work space and personal space.