IPv4 has it’s day’s numbered. Literally. As 2010 draws to a close we are rapidly running out of IPv4 addresses. As of writing we currently have 66 days left before we run completely out of ip addresses! You can follow ipv4countdown on twitter and watch the number of free IP addresses dwindle away. But not to fear, IPv6 is here! Or is IPv6 really a good thing? While they have made enough addresses for every person, dog, and fire hydrant in the universe
IPv6 and Net Neutrality
ISP’s have talked about IPv6 making packet inspection easier. Packet inspection aids in identifying the type of data being transmitted. So for example, connecting to a website on port 50 instead of 80, won’t stop your ISP from knowing that it’s web traffic. Now I know what your thinking, what’s the big deal? Well they are already talking about billing differently for different datatypes. Example: Web Traffic may be $0.10 per mb, while VOIP would be $1.00 per mb. and video services like netflix would cost even more to add to your internet bill! Furthermore they’ve done away with NAT.
IPv6 in contrast, will support MANY more Ip addresses. In fact Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) supports 2128 (about 3.4×1038) addresses. (A lot) Another advantage (if you want to call it that) to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) over the Internet Protocol Version 4 (Ipv4) is the elimination of the need for network address translation (NAT).
This seems a little wasteful to me, are we supposed to get 50 Ip addresses when we sign up for DSL? Or is nat still going to be with us? If so I guess port forwarding has no more purpose, but what if I DON’T want the world to have full access my home server? What will be the SOP for new internet customers? This feels all so last minuet, considering IPv6 was born about 12 years ago, we still waited until we are almost out of IP addresses before making the switch!
IPv4 vs IPv6
For those who aren’t in the know, an IP address is like your phone number for the internet. Your address is your address, and no one else’s. But there’s a tiny bit more involved to it than that. Here’s an example IPv4 setup seen quite typically. It requires 4 addresses of information to “Get out” to the internet.
IP Address: 126.96.36.199
And now a typical IPv6 Address setup could be like this:
IP Address ::1:1
( *also written as 0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0001:0001 In IPv6 you can collapse leading Zeros, and empty address sections)
Subneting in IPv6: Not Needed (See Wikipedia Link Here)
“The IPv6 subnet size has been standardized by fixing the size of the host identifier portion of an address to 64 bits to facilitate an automatic mechanism for forming the host identifier fromLink Layer media addressing information (MAC address). ”
*This is a very rough introduction to IPv6. It gets even deeper with the Datatypes, ports and routes. For Example: Connecting to Port 8080 on the first IP would look like this: http://[::1]:8080 Yea, that’s not confusing at all… Thank Goodness for DNS is all I can say…