Understand the IP Protocol and the difference between IPv4 and IPv6

31 January 2011 | In Innovation | 412 views | By

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On the internet, and in private networks we see today in companies or even in homes, o protocolo de comunicação usado pelos computers chama-se IP – acronym for Internet Protocol. Created at the end of the year 70, the IP protocol is “Mission” not only do two computers “talk”, but also allow the interconnection of two or more separate networks. With very few exceptions, almost all networks of the world ended, in one way or another, being connected to each other and it was this communion of networks that ended up forming what we know today by internet (name that, in Portuguese, can be translated by “Internetworking” or “interconnected systems”).

The IP protocol has an addressing scheme similar to telephone numbers. As well as any phone, worldwide, is unique (considering the AREA CODE and country code), each computer ligado na internet possui um número único, which is called the IP address or IP number. This number serves to identify the computer on the internet. If you need to talk to someone over the internet, just send messages addressed to the IP address of the computer of the person.

protocolo ipv6For an e-mail from Alice get out your computer and gets to the Beto's computer, for example, We need the data (in the case, the email text) are divided into small parcels (called IP packets) that have marked inside the source IP address (i.e., the unique number of Alice's computer) and the destination IP (the unique number of the Beto's computer). The internet “turns” to find the path between Alice and Bob, without that neither need worry about this.

However, the IP protocol in its current version (version four, labeled IPv4) It is quite old and has many problems. The most serious are security flaws, that periodically are discovered and have no solution. Most attacks against computers today on the internet is only possible due to failures in IP protocol. The new generation of IP protocol, IPv6, resolves most security problems on the internet today, inherited old fashioned project precisely from IPv4.

But the IPv4 has a problem still more urgent than its inherent insecurity: already exhausted its scalability. Each computer connected to the internet – is a personal computer, a workstation or a server that hosts a Web site – need a unique address that identifies the network. IPv4 sets, among other things important for communication between computers, that the IP number has an extension of 32 bits. With 32bitss, IPv4 has available in theory about four billion IP addresses but, in practice, What is actually available is less than half that. If you count that the planet has six billion inhabitants and each device connected to the internet (including smartphones, PCs, notebooks and related) need a number it only, It's easy to see that the account does not close. This number, finite being, one day ends.

On top of that, IP addresses are “caught” geographically. The next two addresses are not necessarily in the same city or region. If you consider that about three-quarters of the available IP addresses for the internet are located in the United States (even if you never used), that leaves just over a billion addresses for the rest of the world – further increasing the problem of scarcity.

The entry of cell phones and other mobile devices (they are cheap and extremely popular) on the internet contributed to the number of available IP addresses is even more scarce. In fact, some predictions realize that IP addresses are going to end up in 2012.

The advent of IPv6, the sixth version of the IP protocol, would solve all these problems. First, because it gives purpose to practically all known security holes of IPv4, making it much more secure communications. IPv6 will likely be a headache without size for criminal hackers.

Secondly, IPv6 defines 128 bits for addressing, and so has about 3,4 × 10 ^ 38 available addresses (or 340 followed by 36 zeros). For those who don't want to make the account, just knowing that there are many billions of available address quadrillion, ensuring that won't miss IP numbers to humans for millennia.

By “draft” an initial document proposed by the IETF – Internet Engineering Task Force, órgão responsável pelo development tecnológico da internet, the migration from IPv4 to IPv6 should have begun at some point between 2009 and 2010, with full migration by the end of 2011. The schedule is delayed. Google, Yahoo! and Facebook should adopt IPv6 in June this year.

In Campus Party Brazil 2011, quarta edição brasileira do evento de innovation, creativity and digital culture, held in São Paulo 17 the 23 This month, Telefónica offered to our the opportunity to connect to the IPv6 internet. A companhia vem testando a technology há dois anos e espera poder oferecê-la aos seus clientes ainda em 2011.

In Ivaiporã-PR, Computer engineer, Workgroup Administrator Tips in General. Passionate about technology and Informatics.

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