How can I use IPv6 today

IPv6 - Everything you need to know about switching to the new web standard

IPv6 - these are the advantages of the new standard

IPv6 not only solves the address shortage of the previous standard. The use also offers additional advantages. Since there are already fewer addresses than devices today, a trick has to be used to distribute the data packets in the internal networks in companies and households: “private” IPv4 addresses in combination with Network Address Translation (NAT). “Private” IP addresses are those that are only intended for use in internal networks and can therefore be used multiple times, while public IP addresses must be unique worldwide in order to guarantee unambiguous addressability. Certain address ranges are specified for private IPs, for example the range 192.168.xxx.xxx. It is used in almost every home or company network. NAT comes into play so that network devices can communicate with each other over the Internet despite their private IPs. This procedure is implemented in the router and takes over the mediation between internal IPs and the public IP address that are shared by all devices.

Accordingly, network devices with a private IP address cannot be addressed directly via the Internet. This is a decisive advantage in terms of security. The disadvantage, however, is that it is initially not possible, for example, to operate a server behind a router with NAT that can be accessed from the Internet. To do this, port forwarding must first be set up in the router, which forwards requests that arrive at the public IP address to a specific internal IP, depending on the specified port.

NAT requires a certain amount of computing power from the router, so in extreme cases it can slightly delay the transmission of the data packets. The more devices request data at the same time, the more work the router has to do.

This is where IPv6 can show its strengths. Since every device can have its own publicly accessible IP address, it can potentially also be addressed directly from the Internet. NAT is no longer necessary - this avoids delays.

Changeover: This is how the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 works

For understandable reasons, the change to the new protocol cannot take place with the proverbial bang and from one day to the next. That would lead to chaos everywhere, because not all hardware is yet able to handle IPv6 addresses. With a sudden switch, all of these devices would be offline overnight. The migration to the new standard is currently being pushed by access providers, but it will be some time before communication is only possible via IPv6 across the board.

There are various scenarios for the smoothest possible transition. In the simplest case, the access provider sets up a parallel operation of IPv6 and IPv4. This is known as a dual stack ("DS"). All nodes in a network can handle both methods. This should be normal operation for a few more years. In this case, the access provider assigns an IP address for both protocols. A characteristic of a real dual stack is that the connection has a public IPv4 address. The process offers the great advantage that all existing services can still be reached at the usual address. Gradually, existing services can be made accessible via IPv6.

In order to enable real parallel operation of both protocols, Internet access providers would have to assign a “classic” IP address to each connection in addition to the IPv6 address. However, a real dual-stack operation is not used everywhere. Because many providers, especially those who have not been on the market long, are already running out of IPv4 addresses assigned to them. Then he has to fall back on "Dual-Stack Lite" (DS-Lite).