IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6)

What is IPv6

Of all terms related to computer networking, IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is probably the most innovative one. It is the most recent version of the famous Internet Protocol (IP) and serves as a communications protocol that helps locate and identify systems on and between private networks. IPv6 routes traffic between said networks and as such acts as the backbone of the whole Internet. IPv6 is the brainchild of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). They did it to face a problem that was known to arise at some point – the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses due to the rapid commercialization of the Internet that commenced in the late 1990s. At present, IPv6 is expected to entirely replace IPv4 in the near future. The introduction of this protocol was a long time coming. It was originally conceived as a Draft Standard by IETF in 1998 and was finally ratified as an Internet Standard on 14 July 2017.

Benefits of IPv6

IPv6 offers a number of technical benefits such as 128-bit addresses, hierarchical address allocation, and route aggregation across the Internet. Addresses under the IPv6 protocol consist of eight groups of four hexadecimal digits each. Each group is separated by colons. The protocol also offers a feature that shortens the full representation to look like this, for example 2001:db8::8a2e:370:7334, instead of this: 2001:0db8:0000:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.