The switch over to IPv6 is a hot topic among technologists, but it isn’t always easy for non-specialists to understand. That’s unfortunate, because it has the potential to impact businesses, governments, and every other part of society that depends on the Internet. It isn’t necessary for most people to understand the technical details, but it is vital that everyone understands the big picture when it comes to something that has such a large impact on so much of the world.
What Is It?
It is easiest to think of IPv6 as a version of the Internet. More specifically, it is a communication protocol that allows devices to connect to each other and transfer information. It was developed as a replacement for IPv4, which is the basis for the current Internet.
The switch to IPv6 is intended to solve a few problems that exist with IPv4. The most pressing concern is that the world is running out of IP addresses, which are essentially identification numbers. Every device that connects to the Internet needs to have a unique one. That wasn’t a problem when the Internet was new and IPv4 came into use, but the number of devices that use the Internet has surged since then.
The new system also has a few technical benefits. In general, it makes things simpler and more efficient, which has the potential to boost performance. IPv6 was also designed with security in mind, so it is likely to close some security holes that currently exist. IPv4 is slightly more than thirty years old, and the new system will benefit from all the research and development that engineers have done since it came into use. If you are interested in learning more, visit www.bluecatnetworks.com.
Why Does It Matter?
Transitioning to IPv6 is vital for the Internet’s continued functionality. The biggest benefit will be solving the problem of IP address depletion. Some groups have already run out of their allocated IP addresses, and having devices without those addresses can cause problems when they have to interact with the Internet. Switching to the new standard will create a huge number of new IP addresses, which will be sufficient for quite a long time to come. It is possible that they will eventually run out, but the supply should last until IPv6 has become obsolete and needs to be replaced with a newer standard.
The transition is a major issue in the tech world because it’s a huge and complicated project. Computers that are on one standard can only communicate with those on another standard through special workarounds, and switching over all of the existing devices is a huge project. It will happen eventually in spite of the difficulty, so it’s best to stay informed about the process to make sure that every person can get through it as smoothly as possible.