Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What's ipv4 and ipv6? - Tech Tuesday

Hey all my dear readers! How are you all doing? :D I welcome all of you at my blog on this lovely Tech Tuesday! :D

I thought a lot before making this post. Actually what happened was that I thought of something real cool to be posted today, but by the time Tuesday came, I forgot it! :/ So then after a lot of wondering I thought of something cool, though still unable to recall what I thought earlier! LOL!!

With Internet becoming the so called 'lifeline' of many people around the globe(for which I say, Thanks to Social Networking) everyone is looking up for faster and secure internet connections. The IP, i.e., Internet Protocol is one of the things people should be aware of.

The Internet Protocol (IP) is the principal communications protocol used for relaying datagrams (also known as network packets) across an internetwork using the Internet Protocol Suite. Responsible for routing packets across network boundaries, it is the primary protocol that establishes the Internet.

IP is the primary protocol in the Internet Layer of the Internet Protocol Suite and has the task of delivering datagrams from the source host to the destination host solely based on the addresses. For this purpose, IP defines datagram structures that encapsulate the data to be delivered. It also defines addressing methods that are used to label the datagram source and destination.

All that simply implies, No Internet without the IP! With the traffic increasing, and so also the density of attacks and hacks, faster and safer connections are preferred. The IP is revised whenever it's development can be widely adopted.

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the fourth revision in the development of the Internet Protocol (IP) and the first version of the protocol to be widely deployed. Together with IPv6, it is at the core of standards-based internetworking methods of the Internet. As of 2012 IPv4 is still the most widely deployed Internet Layer protocol. Not that technical, right?

IPv4 is a connectionless protocol for use on packet-switched Link Layer networks (e.g., Ethernet). It operates on a best effort delivery model, in that it does not guarantee delivery, nor does it assure proper sequencing or avoidance of duplicate delivery. These aspects, including data integrity, are addressed by an upper layer transport protocol, such as the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

IPv4 uses 32-bit (four-byte) addresses, which limits the address space to 4294967296 (232) addresses. Addresses were assigned to users, and the number of unassigned addresses decreased. IPv4 address exhaustion occurred on February 3, 2011. It had been significantly delayed by address changes such as classful network design, Classless Inter-Domain Routing, and network address translation (NAT).

This limitation of IPv4 stimulated the development of IPv6 in the 1990s, which has been in commercial deployment since 2006.

Interesting, isn't it? The main reason for the development of ipv6 is the limit that might exceed any day! I guess it already would have had if no one were using ipv6. Who knows?

IPv6 implements a new IP address system that allows for far more addresses to be assigned than is possible with IPv4, but as a result the two protocols are not compatible, complicating the transition to IPv6. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, allowing for 2128, or approximately 3.4×1038 addresses — more than 7.9×1028 times as many as IPv4, which uses 32-bit addresses. IPv4 allows for only 4,294,967,296 unique addresses worldwide (or less than one address per person alive in 2012), but IPv6 allows for around 4.8×1028 addresses per person — a number unlikely ever to run out. Did ya read that carefully enough?? 4.8 x 1028 PER PERSON!! PER PERSON!!!!!!! Whoa!

IPv6 addresses, as commonly displayed to users, consist of eight groups of four hexadecimal digits separated by colons, for example 2312:0db4:87d3:0642:00a0:842d:0e70:43e4. Now this is quite different than our primary ipv4 with 4 groups like, right? According to what I think, because of the longer address, the number of possible combinations increases multifold, just imagine, the domain is doubled means the range would be atleast quadrupled! Well, that's just mathematics and one should know, theories suggest, hackers have a nice hold on mathematics! :O Well, what I was saying is in such a case with so many combinations, it is likely to be safer on ipv6 than on ipv4.

Although according to an article I read on the Internet, it is just a myth to think ipv6 is more secure. It said:

"It would be more accurate to say that IPv6 is no less secure than IPv4. The main security mechanism built into IPv6 is IPsec. IPsec is not new - it can be used with IPv4 as well, and this has been possible since its earliest days. However, a conforming implementation of IPv6 must support IPsec, while there is no such requirement in IPv4. This has led to the misconception that IPv6 is automatically more secure than IPv4: instead, it still requires careful implementation and well-educated system and network staff.

In some other ways IPv6 in fact does support better security: that IPsec can be guaranteed to be supported fosters its use and propagation. The header design in IPv6 is better, leading to a cleaner division between encryption metadata and the encrypted payload, which some analysts consider has improved the IPsec implementation. And the huge address space can, if desired, be used to defeat scanning attacks by simply allocating random addresses within subnets.

However, the bottom line for IPv6, as for all protocols and systems, is that education, training and awareness are the best investments from a security perspective. "

But some article suggest it is way too secure! Now this is kind of dilemma for a common man who is concerned about security than technical details. But well, perhaps we have to live with this, like it has been for years! In any case, it seems more promising to use ipv6 than ipv4, though ipv6 can never overrun ipv4 due to it's already widespread adoption.

I think this article was interesting. Well, to me it was! LOL! :D All sorts of comments and suggestions are welcomed, and as I said earlier, I would love to get your inputs and if you want to me share something, or search the internet for you and give the answer, please feel free to make a request on any post or the CBox on the right. Good Day! :)


  1. Seems like you are back at tech again kid? Nice amalgamation. But there could be more detailing if you wish to address a more aware class of people.

    1. Glad to know you still read my blog! :)
      Hmm, I'd like to add more detailing, but to be honest, I myself don't know much about the topic.

  2. Nice Article! Thanks for sharing with us.
    IP Routing

  3. I have just recently heard of IPv4. I had no idea that they were such a key element to the internet. The internet is so vast and I know so little about it that I don't really take the time to figure out how it works. This had a lot of good information, I am glad I found this!
    Emily Smith | http://iptrading.com/buy-ipv4/


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