IPv4 to IPv6 Protocol Upgrade


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IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4)

IPv4 is the current version of internet protocol which is used to send data over the internet. It is well known to have significant restrictions; the main one being the maximum addressing space which has made IPv4 resources very valuable over recent years. Due to these restrictions the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) designed a project for a new IP in the early 90’s, with performance and security in mind.

Regardless of enhancements from new technologies such as SSL, TLS and IPSec, the whole design still lacks the level of security and flexibility expected. IPv4 was designed with no security in mind which has led to various different digital threats that have taken off such as:

  • Reconnaissance attacks
  • Denial of service
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks
  • ARP poisoning
  • Address spoofing
  • Malware attacks

IPv6 is how internet communication will be controlled for the conceivable future.

What is IPv6?

The basics of IPv6 are similar to those of IPv4, however devices can use IPv6 as source and destination addresses to pass packets over a network.

Features of IPv6:

  • Larger Address Space
  • Simplified Header
  • End-to-end Connectivity
  • Auto-configuration
  • Faster Forwarding/Routing
  • IPSec Security (Optional)
  • No broadcast
  • Anycast support
  • Mobility
  • Enhanced priority support
  • Smooth transition
  • Extensibility

Why should you switch to IPv6?

The key feature of IPv6 is extending IP addresses from 32 bits to 128 bits, which releases the lessening number of available network addresses.

Our Technical Director, Matt Parkinson concisely explains the IPv6 platform. “The main advantage to IPv6 is the increase in the number of bits which makes up the IP address. The increase is from 32 to 128 bits which significantly increases the size of the address pool creating an incomprehensible to most number of IP addresses even when broken down to however many trillions per person on earth today. With the growth of the Internet of Things and an increasing number of sensors in the world gathering data, IPv6 adoption is becoming increasingly important in allowing networks to not only continue growing but to increase the rate of growth.”

Other benefits of IPv6 include:

Directed Data Flows. “IPv6 supports multicast rather than broadcast. Multicast allows bandwidth-intensive packet flows (like multimedia streams) to be sent to multiple destinations simultaneously, saving network bandwidth. Disinterested hosts no longer must process broadcast packets. In addition, the IPv6 header has a new field, named ‘Flow Label’, that can identify packets belonging to the same flow”.

Simplified Network Configuration. “Address auto-configuration (address assignment) is built in to IPv6. A router will send the prefix of the local link in its router advertisements. A host can generate its own IP address by appending its link-layer (MAC) address, converted into Extended Universal Identifier (EUI) 64-bit format, to the 64 bits of the local link prefix.”

Security. “IPSec, which provides confidentiality, authentication and data integrity, is baked into in IPv6. Because of their potential to carry malware, IPv4 ICMP packets are often blocked by corporate firewalls, but ICMPv6, the implementation of the Internet Control Message Protocol for IPv6, may be permitted because IPSec can be applied to the ICMPv6 packets”.

Over the past 4 years VooServers has deployed many setups with IPv6 meaning our staff are well versed in the benefits, and have knowledge of deploying and routing IPv6 for our customer base and so there should be no concerns about moving over to the new platform in the future.

For any further information please contact us via support@vooservers.com or call 01622 524200 and select support to speak to one of our technicians.

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