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Should I Enable IPv6? or is IPv6 Necessary?

Last Updated 17 July 2019

The latest version of IP- IPv6 effectively works to provide a unique identification number to all the systems connected across the internet. It is the advanced and improved version of antecedent IPv4. Its use is not common as now 4% of the overall users use this version.

For the long-term health of the internet, it is essential to enable IPv6. Many scholars predict that the increased growth rate of internet use and IP-connected devices can’t be last forever while using IPv4. Thus it is vital to improving the IP version.

The IPv6 is a mandatory and needed element of Windows operating system. It supports the standard Windows service and testing during the development process of the operating system. The Windows operating system aims with IPv6 enabled, and Microsoft does not conduct any test to test the effects of disabling IPv6.

In case if IPv6 becomes disabled on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or even some later versions then it is possible that some components won’t operate.

As the IPv4 addresses run low within the public internet and also it has some technical issues, thus it has become essential to enable IPv6.

If you also face technical problems with IPv4 then don’t worry. The following article mainly focuses on the importance of enabling IPv6. Let’s find out more about the importance of enabling IPv6.

Why Should You Enable IPv6?

Yes! It is imperative to enable IPv6 because it is firm in addressing the main concerns rather than mentioning the risen security capabilities. Apart from adding up more devices to the internet, the IPv6 also improves and enhances the performance, security up gradation, and privacy of the internet. It creates a platform on which users can use the internet without facing any technical issues.

In the late 20th century, the IPv4 addresses were specified as 32-bit numbers. It means that there were 4.2 billion IP addresses. Although it looked like it was a considerable number, it was the situation of that time. Now, there are more internet users than before. The number of internet users has shown a steady rise in the past, and they will also continue to rise in the future too. The continuous increase in the number of internet users urge for a better protocol and slowly and gradually people switch towards IPv6.

Another thing which compels the people to enable IPv6 was that in IPv4 there wasn’t a publically routable address available for every device present on the internet. An important thing which helped and many home network uses was NAT (network address translation).

It means that if you have a router in your home, then it would take a single publically routable IP address from the ISP and share it between the networked devices in your home. But to share a single IPv4 address, it creates a LAN. As a result, every networked device has its local IP address. It creates severe problems while running the software as it requires complex port forwarding.  In such a situation, the only solution was to improve the protocol version.  Thus, IPv6 was invented, and it becomes important to enable it.

Taking care of the IP version:

Every user must care about their IP version. You must be using it and making sure that your hardware and software is working correctly with it or not. It is essential to get ready and ensure the security and health of your protocol due to increased problems in IPv4.

It is also vital to enable IPv6 because IPv6 has such features which make it completely different and unique from IPv4. The authenticity and reliability of every IPv6 packet are secured by encryption — also techniques meant to prevent packet spoofing. The IPv6 is a better option than IPv4 as it ensures that internet traffic goes in the right direction without an interception.

Things Needed to Enable IPv6:

To enable IPv6, users need the following three important things:

1.      An IPv6-known operating system:

To enable IPv6, it is essential that you must have an operating system which is capable of using IPv6. Moreover, all modern desktop operating systems must also be well-known and compatible.

It is important to note that all the latest versions of Windows and Windows Vista, most recent versions of Linux and Mac OS X, are all capable and compatible with using IPv6. However, Windows XP does not support IPv6, and it isn’t installed by default in it. Thus, users must avoid using Windows XP.

2.      A router which supports IPv6:

For enabling IPv6, it is necessary to check your routers terms and details to check if it supports IPv6 or not. If you are planning to buy a new router, then you must first make sure that either it supports IPv6 or not.

3.      An ISP with enabled IPv6:

Another important thing which is mandatory for enabling IPv6 is that your service provider should have IPv6 set up on their end. Even though you have both modern hardware and software by your end, it is vital that your ISP should provide you with IPv6 connection to use it.

How Efficient is IPv6 than IPv4?

The IPv6 is much more efficient than IPv4 in many ways. The IPv6 addresses are well-defined in 128-bit numbers. In other words, it means that there are maximum possible IPv6 addresses. Approximately, there are more than 3.402 x 1038 IPv6 addresses.

Moreover, to solve the IPv4 address exhaustion problem by providing excessive IP addresses, it gives some additional advantages. Like for instance, every device can have a globally routable public IP address while using the internet, eradicating the complexity of configuring NAT.

Security Threats Associated with IPv6?

Undoubtedly, there have been security issues which have made IPv6 exodus a complex challenge. Ideally, IPv6 is supposed to provide more security to the users than IPv4 since IPsec is seared in it. In other words, it means that internet traffic is encrypted end-to-end.

The dual-stacking enabled for two IP protocols are well protected and secured. However, many people assume that IPv6 invasion into IPv4 is not possible, but they are mistaken. The IPv6 can easily be used to surpass the IPv4 security for attacks, like a hijacking.

It is important to note that the DNS configuration for IPv6 is somehow different from IPv4. Moreover, towards the connection issues, there is a greater chance for DNS attacks and mainly DNS amplification attacks. All these attacks are used to support and reinforce the DDoS and Botnet attacks.

Final Thoughts:

Although it is vital to enable IPv6 for internet security and stability, its usage is slow despite since how long it has been around. There is still software which does not support IPv6; however many software has been updated. Moreover, some sites also do not have IPv6 address and DNS records and are confined to IPv4 addresses.

To sum up, IPv6 is an important and essential update to a problematic IP. Thus, every user must enable it for using the internet in a better way.

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