IPv6 is a protocol for communication on the internet. It is used to create unique network addresses and allows for an unlimited number of connected gadgets. IPv6 replaces the previous IPv4 protocol.
What is IPv6?
Basically, the internet is a huge network that connects a huge amount of computers so that they can communicate with each other. For this communication to work, computers must use the same set of rules when sending and receiving information. These regulations are called protocols and the most basic is called the internet protocol and is abbreviated IP.
Everything that is connected to the internet has a so-called IP address. It is a unique series of numbers that identifies the computer in the network, much like all phones have their own number in the telephone network.
Most IP addresses are still based on the IPv4 protocol, Internet Protocol version 4, and are expressed as decimal numbers grouped into four groups separated by dots.
IPv6 necessary when more and more gadgets are connected
The IP addresses on the Internet were initially based on the IPv4 protocol, Internet Protocol version 4. They are expressed as decimal numbers grouped into four groups separated by dots.
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An IPV4 address can look like this:
The addresses in IPv4 consist of 32 bits. The number of possible addresses is therefore limited to just over 4 billion. During the 2000s, as the number of connected gadgets increased, it became clear that this would not be enough. To remedy the lack of address, the new protocol IPv6 was therefore created.
IPv6 uses addresses that consist of 128 bits, which makes it possible to create close to 340.3 sextillion addresses – one sextile is a one sequence of 36 zeros – corresponding to 57 billion addresses for every gram of the earth’s mass.
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More than enough for every conceivable need and necessary when more and more gadgets are connected to the internet.
An IPV6 address can look like this:
2002: cdba: 0000: 0000: 0000: 0000: 3247: 9682
IPv4 and IPv6 are not compatible with each other, and during a transition period both protocols are used in parallel.