So you're wondering what IPv6 is? An IP address is like an ID for a device, which allows us to connect to websites. For example, "microsoft.com" is just a mask of Microsoft's server IP address. We use IP addresses for basically everything we use, be it smartphones, computers, entertainment boxes, and now anything connected to the internet.
To put it in simple, the world is running out of IP addresses. Most websites nowadays use IPv4, and a slow, but steady, amount of websites have started porting to IPv6. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, while IPv4 only uses 32-bit. IPv6 can make 7.9×10(28) more address than IPv4, which allows us to have more IP addresses available due to increase in electronic devices.
According to content delivery company Akamai, Windows Phone 8 devices are leading the shift to IPv6. Android comes in second place followed by BlackBerry. Apple's iOS comes in at last place. You can take a look at the chart below showcasing the percentage of web requests using IPv6 by mobile operating systems.
Here are some of the advantages over IPv4:
- No more NAT (Network Address Translation)
- No more private address collisions
- Better multicast routing
- Simpler header format
- Simplified, more efficient routing
- True quality of service (QoS), also called "flow labeling"
- Built-in authentication and privacy support
- Flexible options and extensions
- Easier administration