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IPv6: An Introduction

TCP/IP is a suite of networking protocols by which traffic on the internet is both routed and ensured to arrive in an ordered fashion at the destination.

Specifically the IP (Internet Protocol) is responsible for the route this traffic takes from source to destination. An IP address is a unique Identifing number of any device on the internet and consists of 32 bits. This means that in theory there should be in excess of 4 billion address but for various reasons (NAT!!) nearly half a billion of these are unusable on the internet.

In 1991 the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) realised that the current IPv4 was reaching the end of its lifetime. It became clear that there were not enough IP addresses to go around and with the growing popularity of mobile devices the rate exhaustion of these addresses began to grow exponentially.

To counteract this a new version of IP called IPv6 has been in developent for over a decade. The most noticable difference between the two version is the size of the address. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses which gives us 2^128 unique addresses, 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

IPv4 IP addresses take the for whereas IPv6 addresses are expressed in hexidecimal notation and take the form 3ffe:1900:4545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf

IPv6 is designed to address the shortcomings of IPv4 in terms of addressing and routing, security, network address translation, administrative workload, and support for mobile devices.

LetsHost are actively working with our partners to test all our systems with IPv6 and will continue to update our customers as progress is being made.