IPv6 Enabled for VoIPstudio! How does this Benefit you?Posted on: 2017-04-06 | Categories: VoIP Services
The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 has been one of the most talked about changes in recent years. You can find blog posts, forum discussions and articles by experts on this topic. Unfortunately much of the information out there consists of technical jargon and unfamiliar terminology. It can be a little confusing and intimidating to try and make sense of this for those who don’t work in technology related fields.
However moving towards IPv6 is more than just a simple upgrade or protocol change though. It affects more than just servers and computers. As more and more devices come online, it is important to understand how IPv6 can affect your business. Many products and services are now enabling IPv6 by default, although support for IPv4 isn’t going away just yet.
VoIPstudio Moves up to IPv6
VoIPstudio has enabled IPv6 support like many other services recently. Our cloud based VoIP service now joins many others in supporting the latest standards in communication technology. What exactly does this mean for you and your business? Switching to a different format, protocol or technology can be a painful transition for an organization. In this particular case however, there is no extra work for you to profit from the upgrade.
Since all the PBX features are delivered to your office through the Internet, you don’t have to worry about managing the process. Your phones will continue to work just as they used to before. So how exactly will this change benefit your business? Here’s why the move to IPv6 is so important:
Increased Number of IP Addresses
Most Internet applications currently use version 4 of the Internet Protocol or in other words IPv4. When this protocol was first implemented, few people had any idea about the future growth of Internet connected devices. Addresses in IPv4 have 32 bits which means you can have up to 4 billion addresses. With that many potential addresses, most people thought that we would not exhaust the possible address space with IPv4. In hindsight this might seem unbelievable but no one quite predicted the phenomenal growth of Internet connected devices that we are seeing today.
IPv6 greatly expands the available address space for Internet connected devices and services. Addresses in IPv6 can have 128 bits which gives us a theoretical maximum of 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses. This means that we no longer have to deploy ad hoc solutions like multiple levels of Network Address Translation or reusing addresses. IPv6 does not use Network Address Translation (NAT) at all which means that VoIP services don’t have to use clunky NAT traversal techniques. Organizations can create peer-to-peer networks quickly and easily which allows for the creation of new services. QoS is more robust with IPv6 and we know it is crucial for reliable VoIP.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) which developed IPv6 included many additional features in the specification. One of them was IPSec which provides confidentiality, authentication and data integrity. IPv4 packets often carry malware and modifying the packets is not terribly hard for someone with the required skills. Quite a few businesses block IPv4 traffic that has ICMP packets for this reason. With the increased security features found in IPv6, corporate firewalls don’t have to block such traffic anymore.
Autoconfiguration and Public Addresses
Autoconfiguration is a new feature in IPv6. Any IPv6 enabled device can generate an address when it is powered on. This is called ‘link local’ address and the device can communicate with other hardware on the local network without any other steps. There may be other routers or hosts on the local network that can also communicate via IPv6. The device can also generate a globally routable address which means it can connect to the wider Internet and not just the local network.
This greatly simplifies network configuration. May organizations had started using private IPv4 addresses to compensate for the shortage of available address spaces. IPv6 eliminates that issue entirely. This is required for the further growth of IoT where device to device communication is necessary for services to work. It is quite possible for some of these features to work with IPv4 but it couldn’t have supported them to the scale of billions of devices and services.
More Efficient Routing and Packet Processing
Routing and packet processing is much more efficient with IPv6. ISPs can aggregate multiple prefixes that belong to their customer’s network into a single prefix. So dozens of prefixes are condensed into one that is then broadcasted on the Internet. It reduces fragmentation as well as the size of routing tables. More efficient routing means faster data transmission which is important for real-time services like VoIP. The IPv4 protocol also contains IP level checksum calculations which have to be performed at every router hop. IPv6 eliminates this entirely so that packet processing is simpler and more efficient.