Internet Protocols (IP) are numeric labels assigned to each device connected to a computer network. These devices use this label, referred to as the IP address, to identify themselves to the larger network. More specifically, the IP provides information regarding their technical format and packets scheme.
IP addresses are typically combined with a Technical Control Protocol (TCP) which allows one to establish connections between a destination and a source. IP has become an industry standard, such that a device cannot attempt a connection without a unique address.
At the moment, there are two relevant forms of IP: IPV4 and IPV6.
What is IPV4?
IPV4 is the fourth iteration of the IP address technology. Developed in 1981, IPV4 is formatted in dotted-decimal notation. It uses a 32-bit scheme, allowing for roughly 4 billion unique addresses.
To this point, the vast majority of internet traffic (94%) has been served through IPV4 addresses. However, we will soon need to switch to IPV6 because of the constraints of its scheme.
What is IPV6?
IPV6 is the sixth iteration of the IP address technology. Developed in 2012, it is formatted in hexadecimal notation. It uses a 128-bit scheme, allowing for roughly 340 undecillion unique addresses.
Relative to IPV4, IPV6 has not gained widespread use across devices. However, because we are beginning to run out of the 4 billion possible IPV4 addresses, widespread adoption of IPV6 is inevitable in the long run. Consequently, understanding the differences between the two becomes a paramount concern.
What are the differences between IPV4 and IPV6?
Several features of IPV4, such as connectionless protocol and relatively low memory needs, are not retained in IPV6. Additionally, many find the existing familiarity with IPV4 and its technological requirements an advantage in its favor.
However, the IPV6 technology is considered an upgraded version of its predecessor in many other regards. Benefits of IPV6 include, but are not limited to:
Benefits of IPV6 include, but are not limited to:
- 340 undecillion (or a trillion trillion trillion) unique addresses.
- As a result of its hexadecimal code, it is much more suited for mobile networks.
- Groups of computers on a public network will not need to navigate complex network address translation (NAT) procedures.
Widespread adoption of IPV6 may be slow because of the considerable groundwork needed to implement and adjust to the system. However, we anticipate it to soon become significantly more utilized primarily because of its ability to expand the pool of unique addresses.