November 18, 2010

Why Web Hosts Need to Upgrade to IPv6

We have seen phenomenal growth on the internet, and with it, billions of websites have been created, each with its own unique IP address through the IPv4 system. The trouble is that protocol is starting to run out of addresses. As web hosts adopt IPv6, this problem will be solved.
Each website has an assigned IPv4 address that allows them to be discovered via the DNS (Domain Name System). When a user types, the DNS system finds the website associated with that address, and displays the website in the web browser.
When the creators of the internet first came up with the framework for how the internet would work, they created the IPv4 in the early 1980s. That system was designed to allow for over 4 billion internet, and they had no reason to think the internet would evolve into what it has become. As a result, we’ve been steadily reaching the limits of what IPv4 can do.
IPv6 supports exponentially more website address than IPv4. This is due to the use of 128-bit addresses, instead of the 32-bit addresses that IPv4 uses. IPv6 also eliminates the need for a technology known as NAT, or Network Address Translation, which became very popular in an effort to slow down the inevitable possibility of IPv4 addresses running out.
IPv6 wasn’t widely adopted by hosting providers the moment it became available because IPv6 is mostly incompatible with IPv4 due to the way each protocol handles packets (how data is transferred), and upgrading networks to IPv6 can be an expensive process, as compatible hardware must be purchased.
IPv6 has many modern security benefits built-in, including protection of packets using a technology called IPSec (Internet Protocol Security), and allows for better control of what data is exchanged with the internet.
Overall, it’s important that web hosts upgrade their technology that uses the IPv6 protocol in an effort to help the internet as a whole become more secure, and avoid the possibility of running of IPv4 addresses to assign to websites, which will limit the creation of new websites.