IPv4 vs IPv6 : Explained - GoTechTalk


Friday, June 15, 2018

IPv4 vs IPv6 : Explained

IPv4 vs IPv6 : Explained

The internet protocol is the main set of rules that governs the exchange or transmission of data between devices on separate networks it's got two main jobs and for both of them an easy comparison can be made to the mail system.

 1. Addressing hosts and that's an if everyone on earth just came up with their own idea of how they should go about sending an item to someone, ideas like putting the return address inside the box for better personal security or sending out six of the same thing to everyone on a city block to ensure that at least one of them will reach the intended target may be well intentioned but would create a ton of unnecessary overhead leading to inefficiency, the internet protocol dictates the header format of a Datagram or packet similar to the label on a package as well as the way the data payload is nested within it to improve efficiency.

2. Routing or predicting and selecting the best possible path for data transmission across network boundaries this function is mostly performed by routers and it's the equivalent of your parcel let's say it's heading from the west coast of the US to France reaching a courier hub in Chicago where the decision gets made to forward it to New York than Paris instead of letting it make stopovers in Brisbane New Delhi Moscow and Toronto along the way seems pretty straightforward right well actually we've got a small problem at the moment ipv4 the first non experimental version of the Internet Protocol and a cornerstone of the Internet as we know it has only received relatively minor revisions since its original development in the late 70s when the digital lifestyle we enjoy today with all of these connected devices all around us was basically science fiction so it has some limitations that ipv6 was designed to deal with first up ipv4 allows for only about four billion unique addresses which might sound like a lot but once you do the math it's not enough for every device on earth to have its own address and without a unique address there's no way to ensure that a packet is being delivered to the correct destination, ipv6 replaces ipv4 32-bit address with a 128 bit address that allows about 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses enough for every person on earth to billions of addresses for every device they own well hold on a second - four billion is already not enough how did we make it this far great question.

Aside from reusing IP addresses one of the main ways we've alleviated the need to have more of them is through Network Address Translation this is kind of like apartment numbers two completely separate buildings can each have an apartment number 804 in much the same way that your PC at home can have the same 192.168.1. whatever private IP address as UPC at work but their data never gets missed delivered in the same way that those apartments have different public street addresses all of those overlapping private IPs are behind unique public IPS from which all the traffic appears to originate well that sounds great - why can't we just keep doing that once again great question that is not a bad thing and you can keep using it with ipv6 if you want it brings some real benefits to the table in terms of control and convenience if you were to switch IPs for example but security is a mixed bag with its inherent firewall like features considered good but the fact that it messes with packet tampering prevention protocols like IPSec considered bad and on top of that NAT adds performance overhead and increases the complexity of peer-to-peer connections which are great for file sharing communication and much much more which leads into my next point.

Simplicity - Having each device be able to address every other device on the network will improve performance directly and on top of that with ipv6  devices can auto configure themselves rather than relying on DHCP to get an address and the header data that must be included with every packet while actually larger to accommodate the longer addresses has a ton of extraneous stuff that's been cut out to reduce overhead while allowing more customizability for the future sounds great but just like we predicted that we need 64-bit processors to address more memory we knew this was coming so why didn't we switch to five or even ten years ago the answer is compatibility trying to access a website that only runs ipv6 from an ipv4 system just wouldn't work  there's no backwards compatibility built but that said older hardware can sometimes be upgraded with new firmware for compatibility modern PC operating systems and even most phones out there have been ipv6 capable for some time now so the issue actually isn't on our side as consumers know it's the internet service providers holding us back once again moving to purely ipv6 equipment or dual stack gear that can operate with both protocols is expensive doesn't offer an easily communicated benefit to average customer and most troubling of all removes the need for carrier grade nat solutions that add overhead but also give your isp a great deal of visibility and control over the traffic in and out so why would they bother given how fond the average isp is of important stuff like maintaining net neutrality because whether it seems important or not the net neutrality debate will have a profound impact on the way internet communication works in the future regardless of when we transition to ipv6.

Alright, guys, that's the end of the blog, thanks for reading the whole way through if you enjoyed this blog please share it with someone who would be interested and leave a comment, Thanks for reading guys.

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