Have you ever wondered how communication is possible between the different network elements and our own PC?
Well, for any activity that involves the use of the Internet, such as web browsing, email, file sharing, etc., communication is done through a protocol called IP (Internet Protocol). Version 4 of this protocol is the most widely used today (IPv4), but day by day is getting abandoned.
Even though version 4 is increasingly being abandoned, it is still needed by many parties, both individuals and companies. Naturally, IPv4 has more options for NAP (Network Access Provider). In addition, not all companies have IPv6 compliant ecosystems, so IPv4 usage cannot be completely eliminated in most cases.
At the end of 2015, the availability of IPv4 addresses also officially ended for the ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) after IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), APNIC (Asia-Pacific Network Information Center), and RIPE (Réseaux IP Européen) had communicated the assignment of the last blocks a few months earlier. One might think that, with the unavailability of IPv4 addresses, the new IPv6 standard will finally be fully exploited by allowing the connection of all those devices that require a channel to the network (devices linked to the Internet of Things).
In reality, IPv4 addresses are by no means terminated! Even if the distribution agencies no longer have IP blocks to assign, this does not mean that the providers have already run out of their supply of addresses. For example, the largest US residential ISPs (Comcast, ATT, Verizon, Cox, Time Warner Cable, and Century Link) hold at least 238 million addresses against approximately 115 million subscribers!
This situation gave rise to the so-called “IP marketplaces.” The marketplaces are the places for owners of IPv4 addresses and potential tenants (in this case, the companies) to meet each other. Unfortunately, two risks accompany the practice of monetising deprecated IPv4 addresses; blacklists and non-transparent sales. Therefore IPXO, as a platform for these two activities, IP lease and IP monetisation, will be launched to provide a marketplace for IPv4 addresses owners and potential tenants to “meet” and conduct business transactions that are transparent and risk-free.
When IPv4 was designed, the technological evolution that happened with the commercialisation of the Internet was not anticipated. The fundamental problem of IPv4 resides in that by architecture, it only has 2 ^ 32 addresses (4,294,967,296 addresses), which a priori seem many, but due to the great growth of users and devices, it meant that at the beginning of 2010, there were only fewer 10% of unassigned IP addresses.
This is the reason why many works have been done in recent years on a new version of the Internet Protocol, specifically version 6 (IPv6), which has addressed with a length of 128 bits, that is, 2 ^ 128 possible addresses (340.282 .366.920.938.463.463.374.607.431.768.211.456), or in other words, 340 sextillions.
One of the striking differences between the two is about Fragmentation
IPv4: Performed at each hop which slows down router performance. The process becomes even longer if the data packet size exceeds the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU).
IPv6: Only done by the host sending the data packet. In addition, there is an MTU discovery feature that determines the fragmentation that more precisely matches the smallest MTU value contained in a network from end to end.
The big question
The big question in recent years is – does IPv6 create a “separate internet”? The fundamental problem with IPv6 is that it does not have interoperability with IPv4, which implies that it must work in parallel, thus creating an Internet independent of the one that exists now. For example, if a person enters a site at an IPv6 address and tries to communicate with another that works over IPv4, he could get an error message. Conversely, there will be people who will not be able to enter sites that only have an IPv6 address if their ISPs do not support this protocol.
What is the solution then for the Internet not to “break” in two? The solution involves the implementation of translation systems, which allow going from IPv6 to IPv4 (and vice versa) without errors appearing, using techniques called tunneling, which encapsulate the packets so that they can pass from a network to another network without getting lost.
Here are the top six reasons why you should migrate to IPv6
The main reason migration to IPv6 has been discussed for some years is undoubtedly the depletion of IPv4 addresses. To date, one of the measures adopted to mitigate this reality is the use of address translators (NAT). Now, if a reason for the fundamental problem has already been found. Why migrate to IPv6?
- IPv6 has been designed to be easy, so it is completely transparent to users. Additionally, networks and devices have the ability to “self-configure.”
- It is necessary to recover end-to-end connectivity since, with the use of NAT, the Internet has become a complex network difficult to manage in which only client-server applications work correctly.
- It is necessary to increase security on the Internet. IPv6 is not more secure than IPv4. However, the standard requires incorporating the IPsec protocol, which, together with the fact that the use of NAT is not necessary, makes it possible to use end-to-end, thus increasing security on the Internet.
- Due to the scarcity of addresses in IPv4, a dynamic address model has been used that generates complications when it comes to easily configuring services on all networks.
- Finding security “holes” when the network is so immense is almost impossible. According to some estimates, finding a security hole in an IPv6 (/ 64) subnet would take about five billion years. As each user also has a / 48 (65,535 times / 64), it would be practically impossible to locate it.
- Today’s apps can’t run on IPv4.
And finally, something that today is booming … IoT! Thanks to IPv6, we can create the famous “Internet of Things (IoT)” because we have a practically unlimited number of addresses that allow us to have millions of connected objects, ensuring that machines can speak directly to each other and what is more important… with us!