Reasons to use IPv6

By Joni
Category: misc

As Vint Cerf said, "We need to stop running the experimental version of the Internet [IPv4], and move to the production version of the Internet running IPv6!" Do you need more reasons to use IPv6?

  • Addresses everywhere for everything, without scarcity

    The number of Internet-connected devices is growing, and has almost exceeded the total number of IPv4 addresses. (reference, BYOD-IoT-M2M reference)

    Every device can have a publicly routable address, even the entire Internet of Things. (IoT reference PDF)

    • troubleshooting and accountability: You know which device sent that traffic because devices have unique addresses.
    • direct access: You could connect to every IPv6 device from any network with IPv6 connectivity. The end-to-end principle is valid again!
    • security: You can customize your access control lists, so not just any IPv6 network can connect to every IPv6 device you own, and you can differentiate access rights (granular control!).
    • new uses for addresses: You can use address space to indicate buildings, or otherwise simplify troubleshooting. (reference PDF download, see for example page 6)
  • Preparation, not panic

    ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) and Tom Coffeen pointed out, "Every organization planning to continue connecting to the Internet needs an IPv6 adoption strategy." (reference from Data Center Knowledge)

    "You can either do a planned, careful migration [to IPv6], or you can do it in a panic. And you should know full well that panicking is more expensive."
    -Martin Levy, Hurricane Electric, reference

  • Lower latency, at least slightly

    Games are better with lower latency!

    Paired round trip times (RTT) show IPv6 is usually faster (lower latency) for the same connection. (reference jump to Paired RTT Distribution slide and graph)

    The average AS path length is shorter (reference, and update), so latency may be lower - as was measured above.

  • Connectivity everywhere

    Network usage is like a conversation: both (or all) parties have something to say or network traffic to send. If you don't have IPv6, you're not on the modern and current Internet (reference), just the legacy Internet.

    One path may be down, but not the other. I have had IPv6 connectivity working when my IPv4 connectivity was broken!

    Join the fun! IPv6 technology adoption: early adopters 2011-2013, early majority 2014, late majority 2015, laggards 2016, and v6-only in 2020 (IPv6 Deployment PDF slides reference)

    IPv6 is more connected, with shorter AS path lengths. (see above)

  • Efficiency and Simplicity

    With direct access to all your devices at home, you will not have to configure DMZ port forwarding on your home router. However, please do set appropriate access controls.

    Stateless address autoconfiguration (SLAAC) is an easy way to get a unique address. (reference)

    Router processing is simplified. (reference)

  • Mobile device support

    IPv6 has excellent mobile support. (reference, reference)

    Mobile devices account for much of the recent Internet growth. (reference) Mobile IPv6 is growing, too. (reference see first group of graphs)

  • NO NAT

    Just say NO to NAT! (reference) NAT settings can filter or break some connections.

Network Computing covered "Six Benefits of IPv6": more efficient routing, more efficient packet processing, directed data flows (multicast instead of broadcast), simplified network configuration, support for new services (end-to-end principle again!), and security. There are many more reasons and lists on the Internet, but this is my start.

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