With admirable foresight, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) initiated as early as in 1994, the design and development of a suite of protocols and standards now known as Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), as a worthy tool to phase out and supplant IPv4 over the coming years. There is an explosion of sorts in the number and range of IP capable devices that are being released in the market and the usage of these by an increasingly tech savvy global population. The new protocol aims to effectively support the ever-expanding Internet usage and functionality, and also address security concerns.
IPv6 uses a128-bit address size compared with the 32-bit system used in IPv4 and will allow for as many as 3.4x1038 possible addresses, enough to cover every inhabitant on planet earth several times over. The 128-bit system also provides for multiple levels of hierarchy and flexibility in hierarchical addressing and routing, a feature that is found wanting on the IPv4-based Internet.
IPv4 and IPv6 are the internet protocols applied at the network layer. IPv4 is the most widely used protocol right now and IPv6 is the next generation protocol for internet. IPv4 is the fourth version of Internet protocol which uses 32 bit addressing whereas IPv6 is a next generation internet protocol which uses 128 bits addressing. IPv4 allows 4,294,967,296 unique addresses whereas IPv6 can hold 340-undecillion (34, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000) unique IP addresses.
IPv4 has different class types: A,B,C,D and E. Class A, Class B, and Class C are the three classes of addresses used on IP networks in common practice. Class D addresses are reserved for multicast. Class E addresses are simply reserved, meaning they should not be used on IP networks (used on a limited basis by some research organizations for experimental purposes). IPv4 has different class types: A,B,C,D and E. Class A, Class B, and Class C