Why IPv6 and does it matter?

To answer why IPv6, simply put we need it because the Internet is running out of room.Today, IPv4 is used to describe the network address to almost all smartphones, PCs, servers, and Internet-enabled refrigerators so that other devices can exchange data. For example, your computer needs to know the IP address of TOI(Times of India) to read the news, and TOI’s server needs to know your computer’s IP address to send the Web page information to it.

IPv4, though, offers only 4.3 billion addresses (2 to the 32nd power, or 4,294,967,296, to be precise). That may sound like a lot, but there are ever more devices to connect to the Internet, and many of the IPv4 addresses are inaccessibly squirreled away by organizations that got large tracts of them earlier in the history of the Internet.

The upshot is that the problem called IPv4 address exhaustion is real: the pipeline of new ones is emptying out. That’s a problem for businesses that want to set up new Internet services or for carriers wanting to sell another few million smartphones.

And hence we have IPv6 to the rescue! It offers 340 undecillion addresses (2 to the 128th power, or 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456, to be precise). More about IPv6 and how is it different from IPv4 here.

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