IPv6 – what does it mean for the future of the Internet?

Written by:
Hyve Management
Date Posted:
22 June 2015

It's been widely reported that IPv4 addresses are on the way out. The rapid expansion of the Internet has taken its toll, with only around 4 billion IPv4 addresses worldwide.

Every computer or device has a unique IP address , so it’s not surprising that in 2015 we need a replacement. Particularly with the rise in popularity in the Internet of Things, we could be at the point in the future where every household has 10 or more devices that are connected to the Internet.

Bigger capacity
IPv6 has been developed with a much larger capacity than IPv4. The new addresses will allow for a huge number of devices to be connected to the Internet, 340 trillion, trillion, trillion to be exact. IPv6 will become the dominant IP address this time next year, using a 128 bit address. At the moment IPv4 addresses are being reused via network address modification to meet demands, however IPv6 will need to be adopted to develop the Internet for the future.

It will get to the point where devices connected to the Internet will either have IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. The changeover is quite a long and detailed process for larger businesses, with several already putting their migration plans in place. For home users, ISPs will make the changeover on their behalf, though the plans for this have yet to be released.

Change is coming
Whilst the changeover isn’t immediate, most businesses are already thinking about their migration plans. The future really is with IPv6, especially as IPv6 addresses encrypt traffic, check packets, and provide protection from standard internet traffic like a VPN. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia and YouTube have all made the switch over to IPv6 , and it is expected that most companies will follow suit over the next few years.

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