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What is it and what is it for

27 mayo, 2021

On June 6, 2012 (although we have already been talking about it since 2008) IPv6 was launched, the Internet Protocol version 6, as the main substitute for IPv4, since addresses like this ended years ago. IPv6 supposes today, as we read in Engadget, slightly more than 25% of the addresses, indicative that, possibly, we will not see a complete migration to this space of IP migrations.

Although it has been with us for a long time, it is interesting to know the improvements that IPv6 supposes compared to IPv4, its current status, and why did this new protocol come replacing the previous one.

Why was IPv6 born and what improvements does it bring?


In February 2011 we published the inevitable, IPv4 addresses were running out. This protocol, which provides 32-bit address spaces, had as successor to IPv6, which had a 128-bit space, a big quantum leap. Needless to say, as a reminder, an IP security protocol allows ensure the sending and receiving of packages in a bidirectional way through the different networks.

A year earlier, in 2010, only 10% of IPs remained to be assigned, and in the aforementioned 2011 the last block of available addresses was delivered. In total, IPv4 enabled 4,294,967,296 addresses, insufficient figure to cater to all users requiring an IP address. IPv6 came mainly to overcome the problem, since with its 128-bit space it is capable of holding 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses (340 sextillion). Something better, right?

Network connection

IPv6, in addition to providing more spaces on the network, is a more secure and efficient protocol compared to its predecessor

In this way, IPv6 It came to remove the limitations that IPv4 had. In the same way, packet management is more efficient, the header being simpler than with IPv4, without any fragmentation. To put the icing on the cake, it is an even more secure protocol.

Although both protocols, in general, are “incompatible” due to their great differences, coexistence between the two is possible, routers are capable of handling both types of protocol, and users without knowledge of the subject will not notice anything at all.

We have been hearing for years that IPv4 is over and that IPv6 is the future, but nothing has changed yet (or so it seems)

IPv6 adoption status

Ipv6 Adoption

According to Ericsson Research, in August 2019 IPv6 adoption barely exceeded 25%. Although the adoption rate has been achieved at the correct rate, it is estimated that by 2022 we will reach 28.3%, and that from that date everything will slow down even more, with a stagnation that will oscillate above that percentage.

In the same way, it should be noted that although IPv4 addresses have been exhausted on paper, practice tells us that today there are still resellers of these address packages. The practice consists of sell packages that are no longer used to companies and organizations that need them for their users.

In short, the arrival of IPv6 was totally necessary for pure space, a limitation that it managed to overcome, also arriving with improvements in terms of security and efficiency. Nevertheless, the future on its adoption remains uncertain, with data indicating stagnation in the short term.