Internet standards and protocols simply aren’t all that exciting, or even that interesting, to most people. But they’re necessary—especially in the case of IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6), the much-needed update to the aging IPv4.
IPv6 is the successor to IPv4, which, in Internet terms, is pretty ancient as it was created 40 years ago. IPv4 is the addressing scheme used to assign IP addresses to devices that connect to the Internet, and those addresses are quickly running out.
IPv4 has approximately 4.3 billion addresses, and with all of the computers, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, and what have you that can connect to the Internet these days, well, it’s easy to see why those addresses are running out.
Because IPv6 will allow every device to have its own IP (not one assigned by a router): “All devices will be accessible on the public network, making it easier for people to manage things like home automation, file sharing, online gaming, peer-to-peer programs and other applications without complex settings on their router,” says Tri Nguyen, a representative of ZyXEL.