Picture this. It’s the year 1981 and the new Internet Protocol just dropped, the fourth version but it’s the first available for the world to use. The public didn’t get access to the 4 billion addresses until 1983, but it was still a huge event. So much so that the introduction of IPv4 is called the birthday of the internet. It cost pretty much nothing to create the IPv4 addresses for people to use, so they were given out for free to the people who could use the internet frequently in their respective countries.
In the 90s and 2000s, companies and businesses that needed larger IPv4 address space could get them, still for free, from the Regional Internet Registry. The pool of IPv4 addresses was slowly but surely getting empty, but it was still okay.
However, by the time 2010 rolled around the world as we knew it back in the 80s changed quite drastically. The population grew and many other countries that didn’t really use or have the internet back in the 80s started becoming more and more developed and by 2010, countries in places such as Africa, Latin America, and Asia got a lot more internet activity. This meant that these places will also need IPv4, which was quickly diminishing. This is where IPv6 had to be developed and ushered in.
Internet Protocol version 6 is the successor of the fourth version of the Internet Protocol. IPv6 was created to first be an additive to the IPv4 and then one day is able to replace it. Just like IPv4, a device that needs to connect to the internet to communicate with other devices will need to use IPv6 to do so. When Internet Protocol version 6 eventually fully replaces IPv4, we will have millions more IP addresses available due to its numerical design.
What are the main benefits of IPv6?
Firstly, as mentioned before, the numerical design of IPv6 is much more advanced than the one of IPv4. Internet protocol version 4 uses a 32-bit address for its Internet addresses. Meaning it could have only provided a little over 4 billion IP addresses which diminished between the years 1983 to 2018-19. IPv6 uses a 128-bit address, so the amount of IP addresses it can sustain is literally in the triple trillions ( the exact number is 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses), this is 1028 times bigger than the number IPv4 provided.
Other benefits include more simplified routing, more efficient packet processing, simplified network configuration, flexible options and extensions, more pleasing multicast routing, and much more.
On Prefixbroker.com, you can find out a bit more about IPv6 and you can even buy or lease it!