The inevitable is occurring, we are running out of IPv4 addresses, it is now time to seriously consider IPv6 and we must migrate from IPv4 to IPv6. This article addresses and answers some of the more pressing questions regarding IPv4 to IPv6 migration.
What is IPv4?
IPv4 stands for Internet Protocol Version 4. IPv4 provides the unique, numerical IP addresses that allows internet-enabled devices to connect.
Why is the internet migrating to IPv6?
IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses, meaning there’s only approximately 4 billion IP addresses worldwide under this protocol. As the number of connected devices continues to grow, the IPv4 exhaustion issue becomes a looming reality. In the U.S alone, there are 1.6 billion IP addresses currently in use.
Fortunately, there is a solution. IPv6 is the sixth revision to the Internet Protocol and is the successor to IPv4. There are many differences between the two protocols, for example, IPv6 uses 128-bit addressing; this means there are approximately over 340 trillion, trillion addresses to be used. IPv6 provides advanced reachability and scalability. As well as this, the protocol can handle ‘packets’ more efficiently, improve internet performance and increase security.
When will IPv4 shut down? Why haven’t we moved to IPv6 yet?
There is no ‘shut down’ date of IPv4, however countries such as Brazil already have 23% of its users accessing the internet through IPv6. Similarly, IT industry leaders such as Microsoft and Apple have already created compatible platforms to support IPv6 for a number of years now.
IPv6 is still in its infancy, there are bugs and security issues that need to be fixed, however the inevitable migration is essential for the web to continue to function as it does today.