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The future of IPv4

The future of IPv4

What does IPv4 mean?

IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) is a popular and broadly used version of the IP. Thanks to the IPv4 addresses, it is possible to identify devices on the network. It includes 4 numbers between 0 to 255, divided by dots, for instance,, and it uses a 32-bit address space. 

In addition, it is a connectionless protocol. That means it is possible to send the message without any prior adjustment between the two endpoints. So, a device can send the data without examining if the receiver is available and with the requirements for receiving the data. 

It is not a component of the mission of IPv4 to ensure proper delivery.

Moreover, it is not obligated to avoid duplicated delivery, keep the data integrity safe or ensure the order. For all of these tasks, it needs a different type of protocol, such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

To summarize, IPv4 specifies the format, addresses, and routes data.

For these functionalities, it is a fundamental resource for various interconnecting networks, plus transferring data from sources to their targets. Moreover, if the format of the data is too big, it is divided into segments for better transportation.

What is the future of IPv4?

Since the 80s, when IPv4 was introduced, the progress in the digital field has been massive. In addition, the number of people using one or several devices has increased rapidly. Nowadays, there are almost 8 billion people worldwide, and the IPv4 and its 32-bit address provide just a bit more than 4 billion.

So, here appears the problem. With the deficiency of available IP addresses, network administrators are required to reuse IP addresses. Also, they have to control and maintain their IP address pool very carefully.  

The lack of available IPv4 addresses causes their price to go up. Mainly for that reason, the newest IPv6 version is gaining more popularity. 

Benefits of IPv4.

  • Compatibility – Every type of network device, brand-new or old, supports IPv4, and systems support is guaranteed. Now, it is not a concern for systems to operate with this version. Implementing IPv6 involves upgrades, yet it has to go a long way to be supported the same way as IPv4.
  • Easy to write – If it is needed, IPv4 addresses are way more simple to type manually. Compared to IPv6, they are shorter, which means less chances of human mistakes.
  • IPv4’s prefixes are easy. This is handy for networks’ topology logical and physical. They fit easier.

Moving on to IPv6

Eventually, we are going all to shift to IPv6. At the moment, we are gradually transitioning to the newer IPv6 model. It is a slow process, and currently, nearly every person who wants to apply the latest IPv6 additionally adds support for the earlier IPv4. Therefore, it takes more energy to work with the new one. Another difficulty is that not every DNS recursive server supports the latest IPv6 yet.

The IPv6 holds a lot of benefits, such as the amount of usable IPv6 addresses. Actually, there are a lot more than we could ever need. In addition, more reliable security, the opportunity to apply it directly without a NAT device and forwarding, and many more.

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