IPv6 has established itself as a powerful industry-standard, though there are still some advantages and disadvantages to taking leveraging IPv6 compared to its predecessors. Not all of those in the technology world are going to truly appreciate these pros and cons, but it’s still really important to understand what you’re dealing with so that you can best move forward with the IPv6 protocol or without it.
Let’s break down the different advantages and disadvantages you may encounter when you decide to make the switch to IPv6 (or not).
The Pros of IPV6
1. More Address Space
For starters, IPv6 allows for a considerably larger address space – more than doubling the length of network and host components compared to IPv4 addresses.
While some have been led to believe that IPv6 uses billions and billions of addresses for “every single grain of sand on the planet”, nothing could be further from the truth – though the amount of space for addresses here is considerably larger than almost anywhere else.
2. Eliminate Subnetting Word Problems
Secondly, you can forget almost completely about dealing with subnetting word problems ever again!
The new IPv6 protocol allows for stateless automatic configuration as a replacement for static IP addresses (or the DHCP), even though both of these options are still available should you decide to go in that direction. This is a pretty considerable shift and change, and it’s one that really makes IPv6 super attractive.
3. Automatic Link Local Addressing
Automatic link local addressing is also really streamlined with IPv6, something that previous versions simply didn’t have the kind of “room” for and something that was a bit of a chore until this protocol rolled around.
The Cons of IPV6
Not all sunshine and roses when it comes to IPv6, however.
1. Difficulty with Topology Drawings
For starters, it’s a lot harder to fit prefixes on all of your topology drawings when you are running the IPv6 protocol.
IPv4 protocols had incredibly short length attached to them which made for really easy overlay on topology drawings. With all the extra space with IPv6 you’re going to have a bit of a tougher time.
2. System Issues
Another con that you may bump up against (but also one that you may not) is that you have too often enable IPv6 routing depending upon the kind of system that you are running. You will also have to type considerably longer address when you entered this kind of data manually, and there isn’t a lot of fun in that – and the potential for mistakes shoot through the roof.
At the end of the day, IPv6 is definitely here to stay in the benefits significantly outweigh the disadvantages.