What is IPv6 and do I need it
Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is a network layer protocol which allows communication and data transfers to take place over the network. IPv6 came into existence in 1998 with the sole purpose to take over and replace IPv4 protocol one day.
IPv4 protocol, the previous standard, consists of four number strings – each containing three digits separated by dots. A standard IPv4 address is 32-bit and looks something like 255.255.255.255, which allows 4.2 billion unique IP addresses.
With wireless and network-attached devices increasing rapidly by the day, the internet will exhaust all unique IPv4 addresses at some point. It was expected to happen in the early 2010s, but we haven’t run out of IPv4 addresses yet as IPv4 addresses get sold and re-used. Though, the IP address exhaustion problem that is looming on the horizon. To come up with a new standard of network layer protocol that allows more unique IP addresses to be created, IPv6 was standardized.
IPv6 protocol, which is 128-bits, consists of eight numbered strings, each containing four characters (alphanumeric), separated by a colon. This gives us an unbelievable amount of unique IP addresses; 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 to be precise. It also assures that we will not run out of unique IP addresses to assign to new devices anytime soon. (source)
What’s the difference between IPv4 and IPv6?
IPv6 is not totally different from IPv4: what you have learned in IPv4 will be valuable when you deploy IPv6. The differences between IPv6 and IPv4 are in five major areas: addressing and routing, security, network address translation, administrative workload, and support for mobile devices. IPv6 also includes an important feature: a set of possible migration and transition plans from IPv4.
Of course, there are standards and protocols and procedures for the coexistence of IPv4 and IPv6: tunneling IPv6 in IPv4, tunneling IPv4 in IPv6, running IPv4 and IPv6 on the same system (dual stack) for an extended period of time, and mixing and matching the two protocols in a variety of environments.
What about network security?
IPv6 was built from the ground up to be capable of end-to-end encryption. While this technology was retrofitted into IPv4, it remains an optional extra and isn’t universally used. The encryption and integrity-checking used in current VPNs is a standard component in IPv6, available for all connections and supported by all compatible devices and systems. Widespread adoption of IPv6, when properly implemented, could therefore make man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks significantly more difficult.
Are there any performance benefits?
Enabling IPv6 probably won’t speed up your internet connection.
However, there are also notable benefits in IPv6 for mobile devices, which will be able to maintain the same address when moving from one connection to another — going from a 3G network to Wi-Fi provided by your local coffee shop, for example. Rather than picking up a new address from the new connection service, the mobile device can keep the same “home” address at all times. This removes the need for “triangular routing,” in which data sent to the mobile device must first go through the network of the mobile provider. These changes not only provide greater speed, simplicity and usability, but also make connections more resilient and secure. Given the prevalence of mobile devices today, this enhancement should be most welcome.
IPv6 also offers better autoconfiguration, with ICMP6 messages used to determine an appropriate address and configuration. Upgraded DCHP6 is also available for those who require more stateful control of network connections, and of course conventional static address assignment is possible if needed. The combination of a wider address pool and a more sophisticated address structure solves a lot of address conflict issues, which arise most commonly when company mergers or takeovers lead to integration and readdressing of networks.
Let's sum up!
|Advantages of IPv6
Insane amount of IP addresses
Better response time
Disadvantages of IPv6
Transition requires some effort and time
Does edpnet support IPv6?
Yes! We are offering a native IPv6 connection via dual stack (IPv4 + IPv6).
Do I still need a router with NAT?
With IPv6 the purpose is to give all your devices a public IP address. If you use our solution in combination with a FRITZ!Box modem/router then you will notice that all your devices in your local network will automatically receive a public IP address from the subnet that was given to you.
In this case you do not long receive a single IPv4 address, but a whole /64 subnet with IPv6 address to give to your local devices. The amount of IP address you will receive with a /64 subnet will be more than you will ever need.
What are the costs of changing?
IPv6 addresses themselves do not cost any money. Of course you'll have to check your own infrastructure to see if any changes have to be made to make it IPv6-ready.
Do I have to change right now?
The transition does not have to take place today or tomorrow so there is no reason to panic. It is important though that you take the appropriate measures to get ready for IPv6 as it demands some knowledge, expertise and budget.
I’m ready to try, how can I activate IPv6?
In order to benefit from IPv6 on your connection, you need to activate it via your My edpnet account and enable it on your modem/router, as well as the computers, smartphones, and other devices connected to it.
Below are the guides that would help you to prepare for the change.