Before getting the answer of what IPv6 is, we need to know how it was generated.
Since we now use IPv4, there is no an independent IP address for our home network. And It is impossible even if you want to apply for an independent IP address. The reason is that the IP resources are limited. The number of IP addresses is about to running out, and it is difficult for ordinary individuals to have their own independent IP network.
The previous version, IPv4, uses a 32-bit addressing scheme to support about 4.3 billion devices, which was thought to be enough. Unfortunately, the growth of the internet, personal computers, smartphones and now Internet of Things devices proves that the world needed more addresses. Then the working standard for the IPv6 protocol was published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 1998. One of the main goals of IPv6 popularity is to solve the problem of insufficient IP address resources.
Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is a network layer protocol that enables data communications over a packet switched network. Packet switching involves the sending and receiving of data in packets between two nodes in a network.
Then what is the differences between IPv6 & IPv4? The big difference is the number of IP addresses.
IPv4, a 32-bit addressing scheme as mentioned above, supports about 4.3 billion (2 to the 32nd power) IP addresses, such as the numbers in your outer network IP: 22.214.171.124. It would be less after subtracting the 192 and 172 address segments dedicated to the Intranet.
But not all addresses would be assigned. Some would be reserved for broadcast, testing, private network use, etc. These addresses are called private addresses. Therefore, the actual number of addresses available is about 4 billion, while the total population of the world has reached 7.5 billion. the address number in IPv4 is far from enough even if assigned only one IP address for every person on earth. Whereas, with the approaching of Internet of Things, every single people may have more than 2 smart devices (eg, bracelet, wearable devices, smart-home devices).
Compared to the 32-bit addressing scheme IPv4, IPv6 uses a 128-bit addressing scheme to support approximately 34 trillion trillion devices (2 to the 128th power), such as the address of 1100000000000000000000000000011.
The Benefits of IPv6
Although it's a big benefit of IPV6 which was frequent mentioned by increasing the length of IP addresses, there are some other important technologies in IPv6 that would improve IP protocol:
No more NAT (Network Address Translation)
No more private address collisions
Better multicast routing
Simpler header format
Simplified, more efficient routing
Better performance on Quality of Service (QoS)
Built-in authentication and privacy support
Flexible options and expansions
Easier management (say good-bye to DHCP)
After switching to IPv6, you can assign an independent IP address to each device. Combined with 5G network, you even could assigned independent IP address to every car, street lamp, camera, mobile phone, garbage can and fire hydrant can, and make the "Internet of things" possible.
IPv6 is more secure and comes with standard encryption options, making it hard to crack the communication between users and servers. In addition, IPv6 can greatly reduce network latency, which is extremely lower than current standard of 100ms. That enables a good experience on online gaming, even could make unmanned vehicle come true.
Users can avoid risks under shared IP through using IPv6, that is to say, you could keep safe even the other virtual hosts in the same server are under attack by DDOS, or blocked due to pornography or policy disposal.
When would IPv4 be "shut off"?
Most of the world use up the new IPv4 addresses between 2011 and 2018, but we won't completely be out of them as IPv4 addresses get sold and re-used, and any leftover addresses will be used for IPv6 transitions. As more networks transition, more content sites support IPv6 and more end users upgrade their equipment for IPv6 capabilities, the world will slowly move away from IPv4.
Since this reason, UTEPO has launched the IPv6 Layer 3 managed switch, which could support the connection to both IPv4 and IPv6 devices, so end users shouldn't be worried the type of their internet access.