Definition of IPv6 in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is IPv6?

A proposed new IP addressing scheme for TCP/IP networks to replace the current IPv4 scheme. Proposed features of IPv6 include the following:

  • 128-bit IP addresses to solve the problem of the available IP address pool being depleted
  • A simplified header format to reduce network overhead and improve performance
  • Support for preallocation of network resources to enable time-dependent services such as voice and video to receive guaranteed bandwidth and quality of service (QoS)
  • Extensibility to account for future growth and evolution of Internet technologies and standards

IPv6 is also sometimes referred to as IPng, which stands for “IP Next Generation.” A network called the 6Bone was set up in 1995 as a testbed for IPv6 and to investigate how the Internet can be migrated from IPv4 to IPv6.


IPv6 is currently a draft Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard, Request for Comments (RFC) 2460. Many vendors, including Microsoft, are currently exploring ways to integrate IPv6 into their network products.