04 February 2011

iPv4 and iPv6


Most of my co teachers with windows 7 Starter Edition OS laptops have problems accessing the wifi connection in our school. Everytime I set the IP configuration, I can see iPv4 and iPv6. I wonder what makes iPv4 different from iPv6. I came across this site from Mashable which is the answer to my query.

Here it goes...

The Internet has run out of Internet addresses… sort of. Perhaps you’ve heard the news: the last blocks of IPv4 Internet addresses have been allocated. The fundamental underlying technology that has powered Internet Protocol addresses (ever seen a number like 99.48.227.227 on the web? That’s an IP address) since the Internet’s inception will soon be exhausted.

A new technology will take its place, though. IPv4′s successor is IPv6, a system that will not only offer far more numerical addresses, but will simplify address assignments and additional network security features.
The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is likely to be rough, though. Most people are unfamiliar with IPv4 and IPv6, much less the potential impact the switch to IPv6 may have on their lives.

What is iPv4?

IPv4 stands for Internet Protocol version 4. It is the underlying technology that makes it possible for us to connect our devices to the web. Whenever a device access the Internet (whether it’s a PC, Mac, smartphone or other device), it is assigned a unique, numerical IP address such as 99.48.227.227. To send data from one computer to another through the web, a data packet must be transferred across the network containing the IP addresses of both devices.

Without IP addresses, computers would not be able to communicate and send data to each other. It’s essential to the infrastructure of the web.

What is iPv6?

IPv6 is the sixth revision to the Internet Protocol and the successor to IPv4. It functions similarly to IPv4 in that it provides the unique, numerical IP addresses necessary for Internet-enabled devices to communicate. However, it does sport one major difference: it utilizes 128-bit addresses. I’ll explain why this is important in a moment.

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