If you take the time and sit back and think about it, the amount of technology that goes into the creation of the internet is astounding.
While you may think that all it takes is a couple presses of the button and you all of the sudden have access to a web page that was created on the other side of the world, there is a lot more to it than that.
There are a bunch of things that happen behind the scenes when you press that button and unless you study computer science it would take too long to explain in a simple article such as this.
The amount of interactions that happen on your end alone when it comes to your PC is complicated enough.
Just imagine if we add the interaction that happens when your PC connects to the huge network that is known as the internet.
But there is one piece of this amazing technology that we are going to focus on when it comes to this interaction.
We are going to take a look at the role of both IPv4 and IPv6 and how it allows you to connect to people.
Also after that, we are going to see if the new implementation is going to help the security of the internet.
What Are IPv4 And IPv6 And How Does It Help Me When I Am On The Internet?
This is actually a very complicated discussion that I am going to try and simplify a lot.
If at the end of my explanation you find yourself still curious about the protocol then it is best to look it up some more on a place that will give you more detail.
I have limited space here so we will not be able to do that.
So to start the explanation, the internet is pretty much a big network of connected computers, just like your home network which you created when you turned on the router, only a lot bigger.
Now to have a network, you have to be able to talk to the other computers on the internet.
That is what your computer is doing every time you connect to the internet.
You are talking to another computer, otherwise known as a server, which is on the other side of the network.
Now there are several layers of the network that are used for this communication to happen but the main ones we will focus on here is TCP/IP.
The TCP stands for transmission control protocol.
It is the layer that actually allows the data to travel back and forth on the network.
It is known as the transport layer.
The other part of that equation is the IP.
This is known as the internet protocol layer.
This is the layer that has the actual data that is being sent over the TCP while also holding important information in its header that tells the network what to do with the data.
The header of the IP layer holds information such as the TTL, time to live, source IP address, destination IP address, and many more things.
It is how we are able to get the data to our computers in an efficient manner.
The IP section is what allows the other computers on the network to find you.
You are given an address which is something that you probably heard of.
The IP address of your computer is found by typing the letters IPConfig in your command shell on Windows.
That will give you the number of the IP address of that particular computer on the router.
If you are not behind a router then it will have your normal IP number.
The technology behind the IPv4 is getting old and there is a new change needed.
The main reason for the change is because the internet has expanded far bigger than the original people who made the protocol had ever expected.
We are running out of IP addresses to give to people.
Now that we have cell phones, and off line devices with their own IP numbers, it is now time to move on.
The place that we are now moving on to is IPv6.
Is IPv6 Better?
You have to remember that the new IPv6 is a lot less of a change and is more of an upgrade.
It is a upgrade that is sorely needed but it is still just an upgrade.
So the basics behind the technology are still the same, just slightly improved.
So the technology is better but not necessarily better for security.
As a matter of fact there are some things that they have left out that might actually affect security on a negative end.
They have taken out the checksum for headers that used to happen in IPv4.
A checksum is a piece of technology that allows you to take a hash number of the data and match it against another piece of identical data.
If it doesn’t match then it is not the same.
This is not available in IPv6 anymore.
On the opposite end, a good thing that is happening when it comes to the security of the IPv6 technology is that it is configured automatically for now on.
No more having to worry about a manual configuration that a server admin might mess up.
Overall, the security of the internet will be pretty much the same with IPv6 as it was with IPv4.