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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  TCP/IP Lower-Layer (Interface, Internet and Transport) Protocols (OSI Layers 2, 3 and 4)
      9  TCP/IP Internet Layer (OSI Network Layer) Protocols
           9  Internet Protocol (IP/IPv4, IPng/IPv6) and IP-Related Protocols (IP NAT, IPSec, Mobile IP)
                9  Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) / IP Next Generation (IPng)
                     9  IPv6 Addressing

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IPv6 Interface Identifiers and Physical Address Mapping
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IPv6/IPv4 Address Embedding
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IPv6 Special Addresses: Reserved, Private (Link-Local / Site-Local), Unspecified and Loopback
(Page 2 of 3)

Private/Unregistered/Nonrouteable Addresses

A block of addresses is set aside for private addresses, just as in IPv4, except that like everything in IPv6 the private address block in IPv6 is much larger. These private addresses are local only to a particular link or site and are therefore never routed outside a particular company's network.

Private addresses are indicated by the address having "1111 1110 1” for the first nine bits. Thus, private addresses have a first octet value of “FE” in hexadecimal, with the next hex digit being from “8” to “F”. These addresses are further divided into two types based on their scope, described below.

Loopback Address

Like IPv4, provision has been made for a special loopback address for testing; datagrams sent to this address “loop back” to the sending device. However, in IPv6 there is just one address for this function, not a whole block (which was never needed in the first place, really!) The loopback address is 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1, which is normally expressed using zero compression as “::1”.

Unspecified Address

In IPv4, an IP address of all zeroes has a special meaning; it refers to the host itself, and is used when a device doesn't know its own address. In IPv6 this concept has been formalized, and the all-zeroes address (0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0) is named the unspecified address. It is typically used in the source field of a datagram sent by a device seeking to have its IP address configured. Zero compression can be applied to this address; since it is all zeroes, the address becomes just “::”. (I consider this confusing, myself. I think something like “0::0” is a lot more clear, and short enough.)

Key Concept: In IPv6, a special loopback address, 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 (“::1” in compressed form) is set aside for testing purposes. The unspecified address, 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0 (“::” in compressed form) is used to indicate an unknown address. A block of private or local addresses is defined, which is the set of all addresses beginning with “1111 1110 1” as the first nine bits.



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IPv6/IPv4 Address Embedding
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005

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