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Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is a version of the Internet Protocol (IP) that is designed to succeed Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). IPv6 uses 128 bit addresses which is able to accommodate about 340 undecillion (2128) IP addresses. IPv4 contains just about 4.3 billion IPs. Thus IPv6 has got about 79 billion billion billion times more addresses than IPv4! To put it in perspective, there’s more than enough IPs for every grain of sand in the world!
IPv6 creates a much larger number of unique IP addresses and eliminates the problem of a shortage of web addresses. Another benefit that IPv6 introduces is improved network performance through additional network routing efficiencies as it is not necessary for Network Address Translation (NAT) technology which is deployed to the masses to delay the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses.
IPv4 and IPv6 are 2 separate IP protocols. The two protocols are not able to communicate with one another directly. However, there are some transitional technologies to have them in the same environment such as tunnelling, translators and dual-stack.
The recommended transitional option for enterprise networks is to run a dual-stack solution where IPv4 and IPv6 run native in the same environment. Devices will use both protocols and takes IPv6 as the preferred protocol. These transitional technologies are expected to be used for quite a long period of time until the IPv6 is used by everyone globally. It is estimated that IPv4 will still be around for another 10 years until IPv6 is used natively by everyone.
On a Dual Stack configuration, a user will have both IPv4 and IPv6 on their computers. When the user launches a web browser and keys in www.google.com, for example, the computer will do a DNS query AAAA DNS record and respond with the IPv6 address of www.google.com. The browser will then open up the website based on IPv6. If a particular website does not have IPv6 support, the user’s computer will work based on IPv4 instead.
It is essential that you get your network environment (computers, routers, servers, applications, and other CPEs) ready to run IPv6. For Business/Enterprise customers with bundled routers, you may contact us on how to get your router upgraded to support IPv6. For your other equipments, you may consult your respective vendors on the design and implementation of IPv6. You may also wish to contact StarHub’s IPv6 Consulting Service for further information.
StarHub will be assigning all Internet customers with IPv6 addresses the same way we did for IPv4. However, it is pertinent to ensure that you network environment is IPv6 ready. For those with have an APNIC account, you may apply for IPv6 addresses directly from them.
IPv6 on StarHub Internet Services
StarHub will enable a Dual Stack configuration for customers during the transition to IPv6. Customers may choose to:
- Configure their hosts to set IPv6 as a primary route and IPv4 as a secondary route if there are no IPv6 destination addresses.
- Configure their hosts as IPv6 only.
- Configure their hosts as IPv4 only.
Nevertheless, Option 1 is the suggested Dual Stack implementation for transitioning to IPv6 native in future.
StarHub will provide a /64 for Point to Point and a public /48 for LAN IPs. A /48 IP range will have 1,208,907,372,870,555,465,154,560 (1.208 octillion) IP addresses for customers to allocate in their LAN segment. IPv4 will be assigned on the same link concurrently.
IP addresses are dynamically assigned, so customers only need to ensure that the configuration of connected CPEs (e.g. routers and other devices) is set up as Automatic IP/DHCP.
IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long, written in decimal, and separated by periods. IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long, written in hexadecimal, and separated by colons. Example:
Colons separate 16-bit fields. Leading zeros can be omitted in each field as can be seen above where the field :0008: is written :8:.
In addition, a double colon (::) can be used once in an address to replace multiple fields of zeros. For example:
can be written as
Primary DNS : 2406:3000:0:11::78
Secondary DNS : 2406:3000:0:14::36