Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is a network layer protocol which allows data communication over a packet-switched network. It is an advanced network protocol than the IPv4 which uses 32 bits and allows for only 4.3 billion addresses. In comparison, IPv6 uses 128 bits and supports 340 trillion addresses. The advantages of using IPv6 protocol are as follows:
Using IPv6 can reduce the routing table size by making them more hierarchical. IPv6 also has the added advantage of allowing ISPs to aggregate the prefixes of their customer’s network into a single prefix. IPv6 networks also allow fragmentation to be managed by the device instead of routers using a special protocol.
Better Packet Processing
IPv6 has simplified packet header which makes processing of data packets more efficient. Unlike the IPv4, IPv6 consists of no IP-level checksum. This means that the checksum need not be recalculated every time during router hop. The time spent by routers in checking data packet integrity can be used more productively for forwarding data packets. This ensures much efficient processing of data packets.
Unlike IPv4 which uses broadcast communication, IPv6 is based on multicast. Multicast communication feature allows the heavy bandwidth-intensive traffic to be routed to different destinations which helps to save bandwidth. Hosts which are not interested need not process the package. This feature of IPv6 reduces the total traffic load on a network and also minimizes network congestion.
Convenient Network Configuration
Client-side IP address assignment is inbuilt in IPv6. This provides simplicity in network configuration. You can overcome the problem of assigning addresses to devices through a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server under IPv4. This can mean incurring considerable costs as manual set-up is needed for every device with an IP address while using IPv4. When you use IPv6, it provides you the flexibility of automatically assigning addresses by the client device. This is achieved without a server or by using an IPv6 enabled router.
A major drawback of using IPv4 was that it was not designed to be secure. IPv6 on the other hand has a secure architecture. The data packets exchanged through IPv6 are encrypted and have high degree of protection for normal internet traffic. Using IPv6 ensures that the data packet is transmitted to the intended address without being at risk of being intercepted by hackers. Some firewalls may also block IPv4 data packets as they can carry malware. IPv6 packets are generally permitted by such firewalls.