There are many advantages to using IPv6 and stopping IPv4. Have we sometimes forgotten what the benefits are? We mention six reasons to give IPv6 a big hug.

Hexadecimal and binary numbers

IPv4 uses a binary number system. For readers for whom high school has been a while ago, here is a brief explanation. In daily life we ​​use ten characters to express our numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. It is a brilliant system that we have taken over from the Indians. With IPv4 addresses we use binary numbers, where 'bi' -jawel- stands for 2. In the binary number system we have only two numbers: 0 and 1. Computers use binary numbers. When we say: 'Computers think in zeros and ones', we refer to the binary number system.

The hexadecimal number system has not 10 or 2 but 16 numbers at its disposal: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F. What the number systems have in common is that they all work with place value. Why does the IPv6 protocol already exist? The short answer is: because the IPv4 addresses will be finished soon. The long answer: because some things are not so conveniently arranged in IPv4. We're going to finish the facts.

Reason 1 | We are losing billions of IP addresses It is no news that there are too few IP addresses. With 32 bit you can 'only' give a messy 4.3 billion devices on the internet their own number. You arrive at that number by calculating 2 to the power of 32, because IPv4 works with binary numbers. Literally you do not have to take that number, because the distribution of the addresses is (afterwards) somewhat naïve.

What is completely understandable, because no one could ever dream that the Internet would become so big. At IPv6 we shoot the air with more than 340 sextillion addresses. That fabulously high number comes about because this protocol works with 128 bits. You can calculate it for yourself with 2 to the power of 128. Again, you do not have to take the number exactly exactly, which is ridiculous with this magnitude anyway. The number is so large that there is actually no idea of ​​it. To imagine: this number is roughly equal to the total number of grains on this planet … IPv6 works with hexadecimal numbers.

Reason 2 | With IPv6 we say goodbye to NAT and PAT In fact, NAT and PAT have been an interim solution to solve the problem of the shortage. With NAT and PAT you only use an IP address or a group outbound the router of your ISP. Inbound you use one of the three private IP networks. That we therefore use the same IP address in the LAN massively is not bad, as long as we do not go to the outside world with that address.

Nevertheless, it regularly causes fuss when approaching your NAS or IP cameras from a distance, not to mention security. Admittedly, often a sleeve can be adjusted. On the other hand, with IPv6 there are so gigantic addresses that you do not need NAT and PAT anymore. With IPv6, configuring your fi rewall and tuning your access lists is much easier. That is why we mentioned it as the second reason to switch to IPv6.

Reason 3 | With IPv6 you no longer need a DHCP server In the digital primal age, we manually assigned an IP address to end devices. With the arrival of DHCP this is now easier and moreover it is less prone to error. Negatively approached, the use of a DHCP server is a shortage of the IPv4 protocol. That shortage has been compensated in IPv6, where stateless autoconfiguration automatically automatically assigns your IP address to an IP address, without the intervention of a DHCP server.

Why do it difficult if it is easy?

Reason 4 | IPv6 is safer In the IPv6 you automatically use the IPsec protocol. This open standard protocol functions at the level of the Network Layer and provides authentication of the IP packets. Authentication is one of the three A's that form the triple-A basis of security: authentication, authorization and accounting. In normal Dutch: who are you, what are you allowed and what did you do?

With IPsec you ensure data confi dentiality, integrity, authentication and anti-display. And that is more a necessity than a luxury at a time when one privacy violation succeeds the other. We say: enough reasons to put it in fourth place.

Reason 5 | Efficient packet flow A big change in IPv6 is the abolition of the checksum. With IPv4 the transmitter of the packets calculates a sum. The next router calculates the same sum again. If the outcome is the same, the packet may continue. If not, it will drop the packet.

The value may vary due to a variety of causes, and checksum is a good method for preventing errors. Only today's reality has made this method obsolete, because it already counts on link-layer level. Higher levels in the OSI model include new applications from the Transport Layer with checksum. To make a long story short, there is something to be said for deleting the checksum field in the IPv6 header. And that has happened, resulting in a smoother flow of packets.

Reason 6 | IPv6 is built on the future Despite all these extra functions, the IPv6 header looks simpler. This has to do with the possibility of adding additional headers to the header. An additional advantage is that you can easily add future technologies that we do not know about. Elegant and effective and for us reason number six to give IPv6 support.

IPv6 providers

Are you sure you are using IPv4 or 6? Then look at http://new.ipv6-taskforce.nl and check whether your domain IPv6 -ready. If you want to switch, it is also good to first check whether your provider supports the protocol. That opportunity is not very big, since the largest ISPs of the Netherlands do not support the protocol. It costs ISPs bins with money to switch to IPv6. The thought that seems to prevail is: as long as it is not broken, we do not change it. Test on conn.internet.nl/ connection of your ISP to IPv6.

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