The Internet Protocol (IP) has made it possible for millions of computers to be connected and has accelerated the Information Age rapidly toward the next century. With the prolific growth of computer network applications, however, the current version of IP, IPv4, is steadily becoming inadequate in meeting the needs of connecting not just millions, but billions of people throughout the world.
The next generation of IP, IPv6, is becoming a reality. IPv6 will greatly expand the addressing scheme to allow for billions of billions more connections than IPv4 can and will provide for authentication and privacy of transmissions, plus contain other enhancements — all of which mean that truly global interconnection can happen.
A great deal of research and testing of IPv6 is underway. This booklet describes the need for the next generation protocol, helps demystify the changes taking place, and offers tips for making the transition to the new version when ready.
You should have some networking experience and a basic understanding of TCP/IP concepts. For more information, you can refer to TCP/IP Defined, another booklet available from Process Software. There is also a list of other resources at the end of this booklet and a glossary of Internet terms.
The information about IPv6 is organized as follows:
1. Overview of the Internet Protocol