Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is the current version of the Internet Protocol (IP, which provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic over the Internet.

IPv6 is intended as a replacement for IPv4. A successor became necessary because all available addresses were used up in 2011. In the meantime, however, Network Address Translation (NAT) allows end-user devices to use common IPv4 addresses. Therefore, the Ipv4 address space is still present. However, besides providing a larger address space, IPv6 also provides an efficient packet processing mechanism, better security and higher performance.

IPv6 is based on a 128-bit addressing system. This means that 2^128 unique IP addresses can be created.

There are three different types of IPv6 addresses:

  1. Unicast (one-to-one communication between two devices)
  2. Multicast (one-to-many communication)
  3. Anycast (one-to-nearest communication; forwarded to nearest router based on routing).

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