IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is a network layer protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. It is the successor to IPv4, which has been in use since the early days of the Internet. IPv6 was developed to address several limitations of IPv4, such as limited address space, security vulnerabilities, and lack of support for new technologies.
IPv6 uses a 128-bit addressing scheme, which allows for a significantly larger number of unique addresses compared to the 32-bit addressing scheme used by IPv4. This increased address space means that every device on the Internet can have its own unique IP address without running out of available addresses.
In addition to addressing limitations, IPv6 also includes enhancements for security, quality of service (QoS), and mobility. It supports built-in encryption and authentication mechanisms, allowing for more secure communication over networks. QoS features help ensure that critical applications receive priority traffic while less important traffic is relegated to lower priority levels. Finally, IPv6 includes features designed to make it easier for mobile devices to connect seamlessly to networks as they move from one location to another.
Overall, IPv6 represents a significant improvement over its predecessor and is expected to become increasingly important as more devices are connected to the Internet in the coming years.