IPv6 is the solution for many limitations in IPv4. However, IPv6 is not yet vastly deployed due to the overwhelming tasks of readdressing and upgrading of existing networks and applications.
Below are some benefits of implementing IPv6:
i) Larger address space provides better support for more granular hierarchical addressing, greater number of addressable nodes, and simpler autoconfiguration of addresses.
ii) The simpler and fixed-size header enables better routing efficiency and performance.
iii) Various transition mechanisms, eg: dual stack, tunneling, and translation allow existing IPv4 networks to coexist with IPv6 features.
iv) Provides native support for new mobility and security standards – Mobile IP and IPsec.
v) Security and QoS can be implemented more efficiently with end-to-end connectivity instead of intermediate address translations (IPv6 eliminates the need for deploying NAT).
Mobility provides roaming service for mobile devices (eg: Global Positioning Systems, IP phones) without losing connectivity and interrupting the current connection.
Mobile IP is available for both IPv4 (as an add-in) and IPv6 (built-in).
IPsec ensures better security (integrity, authentication, and confidentiality) for IPv6 networks. It is available for IPv4 and is mandatory for IPv6 – it is enabled and available on all IPv6 nodes. IPsec support and implementation is a mandatory part of IPv6 but is not an integral part of IPv4. However, due to the slow uptake of IPv6, IPsec is commonly used to secure IPv4 traffic.
A node is a device that implements IPv6, be it a host or a router.
A host is a node that is not a router.
A link is equivalent to a network or a broadcast domain.
A prefix is equivalent to a subnet.