Since every device with Internet connectivity has a unique IP address. IPv6 – or Internet Protocol version 6 – is a new standard by which Tata Communications is going to expand the ‘land’ upon which the Internet can grow.
IPv6 is an overhaul of the existing system which will be able to handle 340 undecillion (2^128) unique addresses. Leading global Internet Service Providers and technology companies like Tata Communications have recognised this as the need of the hour since increasingly we are living in digital information societies.
However, IPv6 is going to have a range of serious implications for our hardware and software needs as well as our usage patterns and how the Internet is going to expand in the future.This communique is brought to you by Tata Communications and the Centre for Internet and Society.
IPv4 was defined in 1981, when there were few computers in the world with even fewer connected to networks.IPv4 was developed so that 4,294,967,296 (2^32) unique IP addresses could be accommodated within the network.
When it was designed, it looked like an almost infinite system. No one had ever imagined that the World Wide Web would emerge so quickly! We have reached a point now, where the last free IP addresses have been allotted in February of 2012, and we are now reaching a ‘real-estate’ crisis on the Internet.The Internet is a protocol – a set of rules that allows for a digitally connected network of databases to interact with each other. This happens through a standard set of commonly accepted rules, Internet Protocol version 4 – IPv4.
The new IPv6 addressing system will expand the number of possible addresses from approximately 4 billion with IPv4 to roughly 340 trillion trillion trillion IPv6 addresses.
This article is authored by Nishant Shah Director-Research at the Bangalore based Centre for Internet and Society.