Networking

IPv6: How to configure static and DHCP IP addressing and deal with DNS

As IP technology has matured, the range of devices that the internet protocol supports goes well beyond computers to include cell phones, entertainment systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which created the need for more IP addresses and the development of IPv6 to provide them.

With more and more device types requiring network connectivity, the demand for addresses in an IPv4-based network is at a premium. It can provide somewhere south of 4,294,967,296 unique addresses. IPv6, on the other hand, can yield roughly 3.4×1038, which should be ample for a very long time.

IPv6 also includes performance enhancements like refined multicasting, stateless address autoconfiguration (SLAAC), simplified headers to streamline router processing, and the option to allow larger packets. Security also gets a potential boost in IPv6 with IPSec, which was initially built for IPv6 and then retrofitted for IPv4.

Dealing with IPv6 includes familiarizing yourself with two important IP concepts: DHCP and DNS. Here are tips on both.

Key IPv6 addressing concepts

IPv6 addressing within a network has a few major differences from IPv4. With IPv4 certain address ranges are reserved for private networks (such as 10.0.0.0/8 or 192.168.0.0/16) and link-local addressing without dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) (169.254.0.0/16).

DHCP automatically assigns IP addresses and distributes other information to hosts on a network so they can communicate with other endpoints. At the same time, by assigning active IP addresses only to active devices, DHCP can reuse them to help conserve IPv4 addresses. IPv6 has similar concepts but refines each idea a little further.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.


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