Introduction to IPv6

Learn about IPv6 and its rules for simplifying IP addresses.


Currently, there are more than 20 billion devices connected to the Internet all around the world, and the number increases every day. This is a major problem for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) because this number far exceeds the 4.3 billion provided by IPv4.

IPv6 is a new addressing protocol with a hexadecimal address format. Because of this, it has a much larger address space IPv4. IPv6 is 128 bits, therefore it allows 2128=340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,4562^{128} = 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 possible IP addresses. Compared to 4.34.3 billion, this is infinitely long!

Besides these features, IPv6 has many others that we’ll discuss later in the course. IPv6 will streamline the communication process of devices on the internet, making it faster and more secure.

An IPv6 address looks like 2003:4581:A7C1:EFDB:0000:0000:1327:0001.

As we can see, this address is quite different from an IPv4 address such as The IPv6 addresses are formed out of hexadecimal characters.

Note: Hexadecimal characters use numbers from 0 to 9 and capital letters from A to F.

Let’s simplify these addresses

The developers of the IPv6 protocol concluded that the addresses were too long so they found a solution to make them shorter. They simplified the IPv6 addresses using the rules explained in the slides below.