IPv6 Meaning

By | April 14, 2022

IPv6. Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) (According to abbreviationfinder, Internet Protocol version 6) is a version of the Internet Protocol (IP) protocol, defined in RFC 2460 and designed to replace Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) RFC 791, which it is currently implemented in the vast majority of devices that access the Internet.


Designed by Steve Deering of Xerox PARC and Craig Mudge, IPv6 is intended to replace IPv4, whose limit on the number of allowable network addresses is beginning to restrict the growth of the Internet and its use, especially in China, India, and other countries. densely populated Asians. The new standard will improve the service globally; for example, it will provide future cell phones and mobile devices with their own, permanent addresses.

At the beginning of 2010, there were less than 11% of IPs left unassigned. In the week of February 3, 2011, the IANA (International Agency for Assigned Internet Numbers, for its acronym in English) delivered the last block of available addresses (33 million) to the organization in charge of assigning IPs in Asia, a market that is booming and will soon consume them all.

IPv4 allows for 4,294,967,296 (2^32) different network addresses, an inadequate number to give an address to every person on the planet, let alone every vehicle, phone, PDA, and so on. In contrast, IPv6 supports 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 (2^128 or 340 sextillion addresses)—about 6.7 × 10^17 (670 quadrillion) addresses per square millimeter of the surface of the Earth.

IPv6 is beginning to gain ground in the United States federal government market and Asian communications carriers. The federal government plans to include IPv6 support for its networks before 2008.

The new go6 portal includes more comprehensive information about IPv6 on the web. It was created by Hexago, a Canadian IPv6 vendor. He has experience in the implementation and application of IPv6. They provide us with access to the latest tools and information about the new version of the Internet Protocol.

Even though IPv6 was designed to offer better security than IPv4, security remains an issue in new installations due to the dearth of security tools for these protocols. For this we can make use of the current firewalls.

Current solution

The use of IPv6 has been slowed down by Network Address Translation (NAT), temporarily alleviating the lack of these network addresses.

This mechanism consists of using an IPv4 address so that an entire network can access the Internet. But this solution prevents us from using various applications, since their protocols are not capable of traversing NAT devices, for example P2P, voice over IP (VoIP), multi-user games, among others.

Characteristics of IPv6

Perhaps the main characteristics of IPv6 are summarized in the largest address space, security, auto-configuration and mobility. But there are also others that are important to mention:

  • Efficient and hierarchical addressing and routing infrastructure.
  • Improved compatibility for Quality of Service (QoS) and Class of Service (CoS).
  • Multicast: Sending the same packet to a group of receivers.
  • Anycast: sending a packet to a receiver within a group.
  • Mobility: one of the obligatory characteristics of IPv6 is the possibility of connecting and disconnecting our computer from IPv6 networks and, therefore, being able to travel with it without needing another application that allows us to plug/unplug it directly.
  • Integrated Security (IPsec): IPv6 includes IPsec, which allows authentication and encryption of the base protocol itself, so that all applications can benefit from it.
  • Quality of service.

Types of IP addresses


These types of addresses are quite well known. A packet sent to a unicast address should arrive at the interface identified by that address.


Multicast addresses identify a group of interfaces. A packet destined for a multicast address reaches all the interfaces that are grouped under that address.


Anycast addresses are syntactically indistinguishable from unicast addresses but are used to identify a set of interfaces. A packet destined for an anycast address arrives at the “closest” interface (in terms of “routers” metrics). Anycast addresses can only be used on routers.

IPv6 addresses

The function of the IPv6 address is exactly the same as its IPv4 predecessor, but within the IPv6 protocol.

It is made up of 8 segments of 2 bytes each, which add up to a total of 128 bits, the equivalent of about 3.4×10^38 addressable hosts. The advantage over the IPv4 address is obvious in terms of its addressing capacity.

Its representation is usually hexadecimal and the symbol “:” is used to separate each pair of octets. A block ranges from 0000 to FFFF. Some rules about the representation of IPv6 addresses are:

  • Leading zeros, as in IPv4, can be skipped.

Example: 2001:0123:0004:00ab:0cde:3403:0001:0063 -> 2001:123:4:ab:cde:3403:1:63.

  • Contiguous blocks of zeros can be compressed using “::”. This operation can only be done once.
  • Example: 2001:0:0:0:0:0:0:4 -> 2001::4.
  • Invalid example: 2001:0:0:0:2:0:0:1 -> 2001::2::1 (should be 2001::2:0:0:1 or 2001:0:0:0: 2::1).

IPv6 packets

The header is in the first 40 bytes of the packet, contains the source and destination addresses with 128 bits each, version 4 bits, traffic class 8 bits, flow label 20 bits, data field length 16 bits, next header 8 bits, and skip limit 8 bits.

What is an IPv6 tunnel in IPv4?

It is a transition mechanism that allows machines with IPv6 installed to communicate with each other through an IPv4 network.

The mechanism is to create the IPv6 packets in the normal way and insert them into an IPv4 packet. The reverse process is performed on the destination machine, which receives an IPv6 packet.

DNS in IPv6

There are two types of DNS records for IPv6. The IETF has declared the A6 and CNAME records as records for experimental use. AAAA-type records are so far the only standards.

Using AAAA type records is very simple. The name of the machine is associated with the IPv6 address in the following way: NAME_OF_THE_MACHINE AAAA MIDIADDRESS_IPv6

Type A records are used in the same way as in IPv4. If you cannot manage your own DNS zone, you can request this configuration from your service provider. The current versions of bind (versions 8.3 and 9) and the dns/djbdns “port” (with the corresponding IPv6 patch) support AAAA type records.

The subject of IPv6 is nothing new, for several years this evolution has been talked about, but the process is something worth discussing, enriching with news, comments about it and knowing the perspective of users regarding the evolution towards IPv6.

IPv6 in Operating Systems

IPv6 is supported by today’s major operating systems: Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or higher), Windows CE (4.1 or higher),Red Hat Linux (7 or higher), Debian, SUSE Linux (10.x or higher), Fedora, Ubuntu, FreeBSD (4 or higher), HP-UX, Apple MAC OS, Sun Solaris (8 or higher), Tru64 UNIX, Symbian (7 or higher).x or higher), Fedora, Ubuntu, FreeBSD (4 or higher), HP-UX, Apple MAC OS, Sun Solaris (8 or higher), Tru64 UNIX, Symbian (7 or higher).x or higher), Fedora, Ubuntu, FreeBSD (4 or higher), HP-UX, Apple MAC OS, Sun Solaris (8 or higher), Tru64 UNIX, Symbian (7 or higher).Tru64 UNIX, Symbian (7 or higher).Tru64 UNIX, Symbian (7 or higher).

The operating systems of the major network platform manufacturers are IPv6 ready:

  • Cisco
  • juniper
  • huawei

The first three operating systems used in mobile phones support IPv6:

  • Linux
  • Symbian
  • Windows Mobile

Development platforms with IPv6 support for Windows:

  • Java SDK
  • .NET 1.1 or higher
  • Visual Studio 2003 or higher