What is an IP Address?
Internet is one of the things which people around the world have heavily relied upon on finding information,
making communication, learning courses, making a reservation, following navigation, and so forth. But how
are these kind of information being transmitted to our computer or mobile phones? Just like the way we
receive a parcel or mail, we need an exact address for the sender to deliver stuff to us, and so does the
information on the Internet, there is an exact address for both the source of the data and end-user like us.
This address is called Internet Protocol address or IP address, where it’s an addressing system utilized by
technical data communication and transmission over a network.
IPv6 vs IPV4 ?
Internet Protocol Version 4 or IPv4 is the fourth revision of IP, which has been widely used in the last few
decades. IPv4 utilizes 4 sets of 8-bit numbers, total 32-bit, to denote a specific address, for example, from
“0.0.0.0” to “255.255.255.255”, theoretically create around 4 million addresses. During data communication,
sender and receiver both possess individual address to be able to transmit data.
Although 4 million addresses seem like quite a lot, it’s actually become insufficient with the rapid growth of
the Internet and the usage of websites, computers, portable devices, and whatnot. As long as there is a device
connecting to the Internet, it requires an address. Thus, IPv6 is currently the latest revision of IP, and has
been developed and implemented to conquer the difficulties of less and less IP address available, and will
gradually replace IPv4 in the future.
Similar to IPv4, IPv6 utilizes 8 sets of 16-bit numbers, total 128-bit, creating way more addresses than IPv4
and resolving the issue of insufficient address IPv4 had, ranging from “0000:0000:0000:0000:0000” to
“ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff”, where “f” denotes the number 15 in 16-bit expression. The advantages of IPv6 are
not only just to increase the number of addresses, but also making technical improvements to the IP itself,
including but not limited to, automatic configuration, address collision prevention, simplified routing,
The Future is IPv6?
IPv6 was proposed as a draft in 1998 and has been officially regarded as a standard in 2017. However, since
IPv6 is a much newer IP addressing system, there are still numerous inconveniences generated during the
usage of IPv6. While IPv6 itself didn’t possess obvious shortcomings at this moment, the much obvious
disadvantages mainly resulted from the supportability of the hardware or software.
Some older applications or operating systems can only utilize IPv4 instead of IPv6 as an address, and some
other systems may require either software or firmware upgrade to be able to utilize IPv6. Moreover, the
security infrastructure level may be different from systems utilize IPv4 and IPv6, and possibly create
potential risks during the communication of these two systems.
As mentioned before, more and more devices will have access to the Internet, meaning more and more
addresses will be taken and this trend is definitely an unavoidable fact. Thus, IPv6 will play a much crucial
role and gradually replace IPv4 as the popular and standardized IP addressing system in the near future, and
it can be estimated that IPv6 will completely take over IPv4 in the next few years.