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IPv6 Address Size and Address Space
(Page 1 of 3)
Of all the changes introduced in
IPv6, easily the most celebrated is the increase in the
size of IP addresses, and as a result, the increase in the size of the
address space as well. It's not surprising that these sizes were increased
compared to IPv4everyone has known for years that the IPv4 address
space was too small to support the future of the Internet. What's remarkable
is just how much the increase is, and what the implications are for
how Internet addresses are used.
IPv6 Address Size
In IPv4, IP addresses are 32 bits
long; these are usually grouped into four octets of eight bits each.
The theoretical IPv4
address space is 232, or 4,294,967,296
addresses. To increase this address space we simply increase the size
of addresses; each extra bit we give to the address size doubles the
address space. Based on this, some folks expected the IPv6 address size
to increase from 32 to 48 bits, or perhaps 64 bits. Either of these
numbers would have given a rather large number of addresses.
However, IPv6 addressing doesn't
use either of these figures; instead, the IP address size jumps all
the way to 128 bits, or sixteen 8-bit octets/bytes. This represents
a truly remarkable increase in the address size, which surprised a lot
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Table Of Contents - Contact Us
The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
© Copyright 2001-2005 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.
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