IPv6: Five things you should know

IPv6 is going live today. Find out why IPv6 is important, and whether or not you need to be concerned about the switch.

By , PC World |  Internet, IPv6

Nguyen adds that there are also features of the IPv6 protocol itself that make it more secure than IPv4. The integrity and authenticity of each IPv6 packet is ensured through encryption, and techniques aimed at preventing packet spoofing. IPv6 is much better than IPv4 at making sure Internet traffic gets to the correct destination without being intercepted.

Will my IPv4 devices still work / connect to the Internet?

In a word, yes. IPv4 and IPv6 are not directly compatible, but researchers realized that you can't simply flip a switch and turn off IPv4 while most of the world still depends on it. IPv6 devices are built using a process called dual stack that allows IPv6 and IPv4 to run simultaneously alongside each other.

Nguyen says, "IPv4 support will not be dropped any time soon, and legacy IPv4 hardware should continue to function well into the future."

Is it urgent to switch to IPv6?

The fact is the vast majority of the devices connected to the Internet today are not compatible with IPv6, and the dual stack technology ensures that legacy IPv4 devices will still work for the foreseeable future. So, no--it's not urgent to switch to IPv6.

That said, IPv6 should still be on your radar. ZyXEL's Nguyen cautions, however, that in regions that run out of IPv4 addresses completely, new hosts being connected to the Internet could be forced to rely on IPv6 addresses.

SMBs need to be aware that IPv6 is here, and make sure that any future PC, mobile device, network infrastructure, or other IT purchases support the next generation protocol. IPv4 should still be alive and kicking long enough for most organizations to transition to IPv6 by attrition over time.

What are the top three reasons an SMB should care or make the switch to IPv6?

1. Inevitability

The simple fact of the matter is that IPv6 will soon be the only option for adding new devices or hosts on the Internet. SMBs should be transitioning to IPv6 so they're prepared when the inevitable day comes that IPv4 is no longer supported. Embracing IPv6 sooner rather than later will allow SMBs to operate with the peace of mind that the extinction of IPv4 won't impact their businesses.

2. Efficiency

Nguyen explains, "IPv6 simplifies and speeds up data transmission by handling packets more efficiently, and removing the need to check packet integrity. This frees valuable router time that can be better-spent moving data."

Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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