IPv6 was created by The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 'cause began to worry about IPv4 address exhaustion as a result of startling growth in use. All the related groups came together to create a successor of existing IPv4 protocol and find an answer for IP address exhaustion and other problems in generations to come.
Please make IP Version 6 part of your future studies. Understanding IPv6 is going to be a major boost to your career and your future. Notice that I didn't say "might be a major boost".
© Chris Bryant, CCNA Success: Chris Bryant's ICND1 Study Guide
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) assigned the first IPv6 address blocks to ARIN, APNIC and RIPE NCC on June 1st 1999. The standard version of IPv6 was published in RFC8200 on July 14, 2017 and is the full specification for Internet Protocol Version 6. This new edition was created to replace IPv4 (which has only 4 billion unique IP addresses).
IPv6 is being promoted as a replacement for IPv4, the current and most popular version of Internet protocol (one of the primary communication protocols on the Internet).The adoption of IPv6 has not been as widespread or consistent across the globe since its creation.
Mathematically, IPv4 can only support about 232 or 4.3 billion connections. IPv6, on the other hand, can handle 2128 or 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 connections. The implications of a number this large are mind-boggling. There are only 1019 grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. That means IPv6 would allow each grain of sand to have a trillion IP addresses. In fact, there are so many possible addresses with IPv6 that every single atom on our planet could receive a unique address and we would “still have enough addresses left to do another 100+ earths.” It is in the wake of these changes that the Internet of Things will be born."
— © Marc Goodman (Future Crimes)
According to Google's IPv6 statistics from February, 2023, 42% of users accessed their services over IPv6. However, If you take a look at their country adoption figures, it is clear that different countries have had widely varying rates of adoption for this protocol:
- 70% in India
- 67% in Germany
- 63% in Greece
- 62% in Malaysia
- 61% in Saudi Arabia
- 55% in Uruguau
- 50% in USA
- 49% in Japan
- 46% in UK
You can see a wide adoption aroud the globe, and numbers are high even in far-from-reach countries, except most of the Africa, which lacks IPv6 adoption and connectivity in general. Also there are many ways to get IPv6 connectivity even if your ISP is not ready yet with IPv6 tunnels or IPv6 VPNs.
IPv6 popularity in India’s has skyrocketed 'cause Jio - cheap phones with 4G Internet connectivity. They started deploying IPv6 after their local Internet registry ran out of IPv4 address space. Reliance has been forced to purchase IPv4 address space as a result, but for business reasons prefers not to. The mobile sector is huge IPv6 driver 'cause it needs a lot of IP addresses and fast rotation for them.
So why we need IPv6 in hosting?
IPv6 is more secure than IPv4.
Better performance and faster routing.
Hosting your website on an IPv6 server will help you avoid denial of service attacks on your web platform.
The transition to IPv6 will be smooth and seamless for both, users and ISPs (Internet Service Providers).
SEND protocol, which is part of IPv6, provides more-secure name resolution. In addition, if properly implemented, the new version of IP could make man-in-the middle (MITM) attacks significantly more difficult than they are with current versions.
IPv6 gives you more control with easier setup
One of the advantages of IPv6 is that you can get a big block of addresses — for example, an entire
/48 or even a
/64 (although this will likely be restricted to large organizations and ISPs) of addresses for free. With many IP addresses you can deploy multiple services without having to worry about keeping the IP reputation clean for everything. A small business running an email service always fears that a notorious user will do harm to the whole network if left unchecked. IPv6 allows you to assign public IP addresses and design your network without having to worry about wasting money on IPv4 leases and avoiding deep diving into NAT ghetto.
With IPv6, each device can directly communicate with another one. The spirit of self-hosting becomes stronger when individuals have access to an IP address they own and control themselves without a third party intermediary.
Let us briefly go through couple of legitiate and valid arguments in favor of IPv6 for a private user, freelancer, network architect or business owner. Today, a lot of mainstream server or hosting providers offer IPv6-only virtual machines or dedicated servers for users at reduced cost. There are American Vultr, Swiss IPv6onlyhosting, French Gandi and many more.
IPv4 addresses are becoming more and more expensive.
You can save up to 50% by choosing an IPv6-only hosting service for your personal or business website. If you don't need a dedicated IPv4, consider deploying on an IPv6-only virtual machine to save money.
Small businesses will find it increasingly expensive to run public services when a small number of large companies or corporations control most of the IPv4 space.
Google and Google Cloud
Google is probably one and only major company with IPv4/IPv6 parity: all services - Gmail, Gmaps, Youtube - are available under dual stack. This means you can rent a cheap IPv6 VPS for $1 or two and use Google securely!
On the Google cloud IPv6 isn't available by default yet, but you can configure it using this guide.
For instance, if you choose IPv6onlyhosting as your provider and rent a base Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) with one gigabyte of RAM in Switzerland for 3.5 CHF per month, it's possible to get an excellent performance at an attractive cost. 2G GB RAM will cost you 7.5 CHF per month.
Data Center Light
When compared to Data Center Light, their dedicated IPv4 hosting solution, you would pay 12.5 CHF or 16.5 CHF per month for 2GB RAM VPS. So, if you choose to use IPv4 for no reason, your monthly costs will be 2+ times higher.
Super cheap instances are available from time to time.
1 shared vCPU, 1GB RAM, 10GB SSD for ~$0.4-0.5 - crazy good pricing with zero setup fees unlike some free VPS providers with IPv6 only connectivity. The stability and uptime and these instance are very good too.
More providers with IPv6-only hosting to offer
We can recommend to you the services from above 'cause have some experience with them and know about their reliability. IPv6-only VPS are cheap as you can see. But if you want to try another service below and risk your dollar or two - welcome! Even more, you can share your experience and help people in the comments below.
Vultr.com: 1 vCPU, 0.5 GB RAM, 0.50 TB traffic, 10 GB storage for $2.5 per month.
Hostmatic.com:1 shared vCPU, 1GB RAM, 10 GB SSD, 1TB traffic with 3 backups available for 1,49€ per month.
Hyperexpert.com: 1 shared vCPU, 1GB RAM, 5 GB SSD, 1 Gbps connection available for $0.99 per month. Plan with 2 GB RAM - $1.49.
Cinfu.com: One 1.5GHz shared CPU, 1GB RAM, 5o GB storage and unlimited bandwith for $ 2.10 - good deal!
Signaltransmitter.de 1 shared vCPU, 512 MB RAM and 20 GB storage for 0,99€ per month.
web.arena.ne.jp: 1 shared vCPU, 768MB RAM, 20GB HDD for ~$2.18 per month.
For the records: you can rent
1vCPU/1G GB RAM/10 GB storage and pay $1-2 per month. For similar specs with IPv4 connections - $5-7, which is ~3 times more!
IPv6-only use cases
Backups. Private, corporate, operational, all of them. Just rent an IPv6 storage for cheap.
A small community website for tech people, where you know all of them have v6 anyway. What to do if they can't open? Google/Bing/Brave search or Archive.is can provide the automatical website copy.
IPv6 VPN - for example you can set it up and route Google or Facebook services using only v6 and get extra privacy points. Check out this Google's guide for automatic setup.
Better messaging: IRC, Matrix, Whatsapp with lower latency and faster routing.
Corporate networks, all of them. If any of them don't have v6 connectivity.
What to do if I don't have IPv6 at home yet?
NAT64 + DNS64 = IPv4-to-IPv6 Proxy
A virtual machine or bare metal server using only IPv6 can still connect to the IPv4 Internet through a technology called NAT64.
Many providers are offering IPv6, so the server should be able to reach the IPv4 Internet. This will give your client more value and options when using this new protocol.
Furthermore, a small business network administrator or hosting provider can use a proxy to allow an IPv4-only client to access to your IPv6-only public service.
To promote the use and adoption of IPv6, some providers such as IPv6onlyhosting are offering IPv6 VPN for free.
IPv6 is the future of Internet Protocol, given the rate of adoption and deployment. While IPv4 still coexists with IPv4 for now, there's no reason not to embrace this change — so why don't you take advantage of one today?