IP version 6

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In IPv6, the new (but not yet widely deployed) standard protocol for the Internet, addresses are 128 bits wide, which, even with generous assignment of netblocks, should suffice for the foreseeable future. In theory, there would be exactly 2128, or about 3.403 × 1038 unique host interface addresses. If the earth were made entirely out of 1 cubic millimetre grains of sand, then you could give a unique address to each grain in 300 million planets the size of the earth. This large address space will be sparsely populated, which makes it possible to again encode more routing information into the addresses themselves.

A version 6 address is written as eight 4-digit (16-bit) hexadecimal numbers separated by colons. One string of zeros per address may be left out, so that 1080::800:0:417A is the same as 1080:0:0:0:0:800:0:417A

Global unicast IPv6 addresses are constructed as two parts: a 64-bit routing part followed by a 64-bit host identifier.

Netblocks are specified as in the modern alternative for IPv4: network number, followed by a slash, and the number of relevant bits of the network number (in decimal). Example: 12AB::CD30:0:0:0:0/60 includes all addresses starting with 12AB00000000CD3.

IPv6 has many improvements over IPv4 other than just bigger address space, including autorenumbering and mandatory use of IPsec.