What is IPv6?

News articles, presentations, and government documents, are all making an urgent appeal to adapt the Internet so as to cope with its growth. “The Internet is running out of IP addresses and if no immediate action is taken now, further growth will be impossible”, they claim.

This alarming message must be taken seriously. But, there is no need to panic, the Internet is not at risk and will not stop working. There is no bug or threat that has to be fixed; however, changes are needed to guarantee the continuous steep growth of the global network.

The current and much widely used version of the Internet Protocol IPv4 needs to be replaced by the IPv6 protocol. IPv6 addresses are longer so that more unique combinations can be made. An IPv6 address is represented by 8 groups of hexadecimal values separated by colons. A typical example of an IPv6 address is 2a02:d08:1001:108:1880:9309:7197:1.