What is IPv6 Address? IPv6 is the 6th version of internet protocol which was released in 1998 to replace the IPv4 addresses. This protocol was developed to overcome the limitations of the IPv4. Ipv6 is the 128 bit numbers displayed in the 8 strings separated by colon(:) containing 4 characters each. This overcomes the limits of IPv4 and provide much greater number of unique IP addresses.
Format of IPv6 Address
1003:1d0a:4cb2:102A:0000:0000:a1f2:b2b1IPv6 contains 8 groups separated by colon(:) each of which contains 4 characters. LENGTH of each group is 16 bit and altogether makes 128 bit of IPV6 address
IPv6 addresses does not must occupy the all 128 bits. This allows to display a same IPv6 address in two abbreviations. IPv6 address architecture is very unique and it allows to use two colons to represents 16 bit leading with zeros.
This allows to notate a single IPv6 in two ways:
1003:1d0a:4cb2:102A:0000:0000:a1f2:b2b1 can be also notated like: 1003:1d0a:4cb2:102A::a1f2:b2b1.
Types of IPv6 Addresses
There are 3 different types of IPv6 addresses. Each one is used to represent different features an IPv6 address can have.
- Global Uni-cast: It is used to route traffic over internet. If you want to use IPv6 over the internet than you must be using global uni-cast. Global uni cast is the alternative of IPv4.
- Uni-cast Addresses: Uni means 1, this type of IPv6 addresses are used to identify a unique host within a network. Uni-cast address is used to represent a single receiver or sender.
- Multi-cast Addresses: Multi means many, So this type of address represents a group of nodes this can only be used for the destination of a data gram.
- Any-cast Addresses: This type of addresses are very unique and rare and this is only used to refer the interfaces that must belongs to more than one nodes.
- Link Local Address: These addresses are used within a local network and are not routed on the internet.
Advantages of using IPv6
- Works with small routing table which enabled more efficient and fast routing.
- Supports more packet headers making it simpler than IPv4 to understand.
- Supports multicast packets, means a single packet can be routed to multiple nodes..
- No need of network address translator.
- Improved security and customer insights.