What are IPV6 and IPV4? How is IPV6 different from IPV4?

You might have come across the term IPV6 and even IPV4 when reading about current router technology. The word IPV means Internet Protocol Version. IPV4 is a previous version, while IPV6 is an upgrade of the IPV4.

IPV is a network protocol that is responsible for communication between any two packets of a network. This allows for sending and receiving of data in packets known as nodes hence moving data swiftly and reliable. RFC 2460 was given the specifications of IPV6 in 1998 by the IETF, and its introduction was purely to phase out IPV4.

IPV6 is an improvement of the previous version and is also termed as the next generation because it has better features. The protocols come with advanced features and protocols that enhance the performance of the internet.

You will find IPV6 being supported on some of the best performing modem router combos such as Arris Surfboard SBG6900 Modem router and Motorola MD1600 DSL Modem Router. These devices are exceptional modem router for DSL and cable connections.

Motorola VDSL2/ADSL2 AC1600 Gigabit router: Best modem router for CenturyLink with support for IPV6

The growth that has happened within some past years has been tremendous and makes the protocol update reliable.

How does IPV6 work

All connected devices on the internet have something unique in each device known as the IP address. An IP address is responsible for identifying each device’s location with regards to the actual pin hence quickly assessing the needs of the device.

The previous version could accommodate over 4.3 billion internet devices that were large but still inadequate.

However, internet usage keeps improving each time people invest in gadgets such as smartphones and computers. We cannot ignore the fact that we need more IP addresses than before. The surge gets handled conveniently by the IPV6 hence making each device use the internet without a challenge.

IPV6 has 128 bits which have the potential of supporting over 340 trillion devices which is a lot. Compared to the IPV4, which only has 32-bit, you will notice a massive improvement in the latest technology.

The division of digits for IPV6 includes eight groups, four hexadecimal that gets separated by decimals making them simple to understand. 

The unique thin with IPV6 is that it handles more data packets and ensures that they are safe. Performance gets enhanced because there is a hierarchical nature of the routing tables.

You, therefore, have an assurance that the internet will automatically solve the challenges that come along with it.

NAT and IPV6

Most people will ask if the IPV6 is more advanced, why has it not taken the path of full adoption?

Network Address Translation is the feature responsible for the conversion of the IP addresses to Public addresses. Therefore, it is the feature that allows IPV6 to work and without it, however, most of the companies use the IPV4. But now, the IPV4 is inadequate hence cannot serve the existing market.

Before IP addresses get released, they must go through NAT to register their destinations hence making the process reliable.  Presentation to the firewalls and routers also gets channeled quickly hence a reliable network connection.

The establishment of NAT has a more significant impact on the implementation of IPV6. The adoptability lowers because there is less work done towards having its full implementation.

Depletion of IPV4

IPV4 became less practical; hence it’s phasing out. Some of the reasons that it had to get depleted and let the implementation of the IPV6 enjoy the course is as highlighted.

  • Growth of internet users- there was a rapid growth of internet users and many devices to connect. It, therefore, became necessary to have an upgrade that will sustain the many customers.
  • High usage by mobile devices- mobile devices such as smartphones and laptops brought about ineffective use, making the congestion too much. IPV4 could not manage the pressure.
  • Inefficient address use- the efficiency of address use also became a challenge. Having the identification of each device became more challenging hence ineffective.
  • Worked on the devices- unlike cable modems, the rate of use on mobile devices was very high. Serving cable models, therefore, became a very challenging task.

Usage of the IPV6

  • The best devices such as modems for AT&T and Comcast have the most significant share of 65% and 63%, respectively.
  •  The T-Moble also has a composition share of 85% of traffic handling in IPV6
  • The latest versions of operating systems support the IPV6.
  • Under all websites, Alexa consumes around 30% of the traffic.
  • IBM makes the first commercial vendor consider using the IPV6.

What are the benefits of IPV6?

IPV6 has several benefits that make it reliable and convenient because of the high-class features. Below are some various benefits that come along with the IPV6.

  • It has support for 16 bytes for long destination and addresses
  • Does not need manual configurations
  • It uses nodes to manage both long and short ranges
  • Assigns each host a name that represents IPV6 hence registering the AAAA address with resources in the DNS
  • It uses pointer resource records. ARPA and the DNS allocate the IPV6 addresses and domain names.
  • IPV6 has less fragmentation because of the 128-byte support.
  • Manages the detection of the MLD messages because of the subnet employment
  • It uses the ICMPv6 router request hence making the best and reliable gateway. Internet control becomes a convenient and reliable task.

Disadvantages of the IPV6

One of the significant disadvantages is that there is exposure to losses of the of IPV6 packets. They can therefore take the wrong route. Other disadvantages are as follows;

  • The two versions (IPV4 and IPV6) do not have a direct link that allows for communication
  • The transition from IPV4 to IPV6 is slightly tedious and slow hence not quickly adaptable
  • Having a proper understanding of the IPV6 is quite challenging
  • There is a difficulty in managing the IPV6 because it does not have subheadings as it happens with the IPV4.
  • You will need to come up with security features to manage the IPV6 because of the IPSec requirement
  • QoS processing becomes a challenge because of the sequence with which the packets must follow. The identity sequence ends up affecting the QoS
  • Fragmented packets end up having their way to the connection but fail to allow routers.

IPV6 Security

The end-to-end encryption ensures here is proper security for IPV6. Due to enhanced safety for the whole connection, there is limited network interference.

It also becomes challenging for an attacker to redirect the traffic and also manipulate traffic between two hosts. The implementation design is responsible for the enhanced safety as it also ensures that it does not work. The server and the firewall both remain open hence ensuring that there is maximum safety.

There is also a possibility of running on both IPV4 and IPV6 at the same time. In such a case, network configuration needs some replication to facilitate the working of both devices’ security features. You will need to do a configuration for IPV6 before working on the IPV4.

Part of the configuration involves enabling the IPV6 under both routing and incorporating information to the main domain.  Packet filtering also happens hence ensuring that you get the implementation of security policies.

Devices that have the latest Wi-Fi technology and those compatible with Wi-Fi 6 enjoy the IPV6 service. They have excellent security features that guarantee their safety hence delivering remarkable service.

Setting up IPV6 Internet connection for new routers

One of the most straightforward tasks that come is setting up IPV6 is a configuration with your router.  The process of implementing settings is straightforward and very effective.

Understanding the types such as the PPPoE and dynamic IP SLAAC/DHCPv6. The following procedure will make you quickly achieve the objective.

The process of setting UP ipv6 for your router

  1. Log in to your router account- you will work from the web interface of the router. To connect the router is a simple task because you have to google the router and begin to do the tasks online.
  2. Go to advanced settings- IPV6 is located at the advanced settings option.  So the process requires you to select the IPV6 from the advanced settings.
  3. Enable IPV6- after locating the IPV6 option, you will need to activate it. At this point, you may need the help of the ISP when there is a slight challenge.
  4. Fill in the required information- you will get a form to fill in information such as IPV6 address, Default gateway, primary DNS, and secondary DNS. After filling in the details, you will save and proceed to the next option.
  5. Add more information on the advanced option, which includes the dynamic IP information. Besides, you save and renew.
  6. It is normal to find the router using IPV4. Therefore, you will connect to the IPV6 server and, on the advanced option, add information about your ISP. You then save and connect. Thus, you may find that your IPS uses both IPV4 and IPV6. You will first disable the IPV4 and then enable the IPV6.
  7. 6 to 4 tunnel- at this point, you will click to add more information then save as you connect.
  8. Select the pass-through bridge, fill in the information as required then save again.
  9. Configure the ports- in this case; we mean the LAN ports. If you are using windows, you will pick the address prefix and save it.
  10. Finish up; you will click the status option to confirm if the settings are appropriately implemented. A form with all the filled data appears, which means that the configuration and the setting is successful

Setting your router to IPV6, as seen above, is a possible process. However, you will need to closely follow the steps to ensure that your configuration work is successful.

Conclusion

IPV6 is a protocol that is very important as it makes the internet functionality stand out and some routers offer support to the technology. Having got most of the facts about it, its benefits and drawbacks, we probably understand why we need it.

The fantastic thing is that we have the opportunity to apply it to our routers. Using the step-to-step guide, you can easily activate it in your home router and then enjoy the services the upgrade comes with.

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