IPv6 Myths by Rick Graziani

There are several misperceptions or myths regarding IPv6. IPv6 has been around quite some time, initially introduced in 1995 with RFC 1883 and later obsoleted with RFC 2460 in 1998. Over the years, as IPv6 evolved and as people discussed the merits of the new protocol, certain misconceptions ensued. Let's take a look at some of them:

IPv6 is more secure than IPv4. Some may think that IPv6 is more secure than IPv4 because it uses IPsec. IPsec is a security protocol suite for authenticating and encrypting IP packets that was initially developed for IPv4. IPsec does not make IPv6 any more secure than IPv4. IPsec can't stop all attacks against IPv6, ICMPv6, or any of the other related protocols. The fact is that neither IPv4 nor IPv6 is any more secure than the other. IPsec was originally required on all implementations of IPv6, but RFC 6434 changed it to be only a recommendation.

IPv6 is less secure than IPv4. Some believe that IPv6 is less secure than IPv4 because it doesn't use NAT. As we have already discussed, NAT is not security. Although NAT provides a side effect of hiding your private IPv4 addresses from the public Internet, this does not equate to security.

IPv6 will replace IPv4. There is no switchover date for going from IPv4 to IPv6. IPv4 and IPv6 will coexist for the foreseeable future. So don't worry; you still get to use all of your IPv4 knowledge along with your newfound IPv6 knowledge.

IPv6 isn't necessary. Some believe that because they have plenty of IPv4 addresses, they don't need to understand or implement IPv6. As mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, for both business and security reasons, it is important to begin to implement IPv6. Ignoring IPv6 could potentially isolate your online services from some consumers, and it could also make your network vulnerable to certain types of IPv6 MITM (Man in the Middle) and DoS (Denial of Service) attacks.

IPv6 is too complex. IPv6 and related protocols such as ICMPv6 may be new and different, but they are not any more complex than IPv4. In many ways, IPv6 is actually much easier. Thanks to the Subnet ID field in the IPv6 header, subnetting IPv6 is simple. If you can count in hexadecimal, then you can subnet in IPv6. In addition, there is no fragmentation of IPv6 packets by routers, so these fields don't exist in the IPv6 header. IPv4s fragmentation and reassembly can be a complicated process to understand.

IPv6 improves QoS (quality of service). Another common misconception is that IPv6 provides better QoS. Both IPv4 and IPv6 use the same Differentiated Serves and Integrated Services fields for QoS. IPv6 does provide a new Flow Label field that has the potential to improve the efficiency of flows in an IPv6 network. Although many operating systems set the Flow Label field for IPv6 packets, currently there aren't a lot of implementations that look at it.

About the Author

Rick Graziani has been an instructor of computer networking and computer science courses at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California since 1994. Rick also teaches networking courses in the Computer Engineering department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is on the Curriculum Engineering team for Cisco Networking Academy.

Organizations are increasingly transitioning to IPv6, the next generation protocol for defining how devices of all kinds communicate over networks. Now fully updated, IPv6 Fundamentals offers a thorough, friendly, and easy-to-understand introduction to the knowledge and skills you need to deploy and operate IPv6 networks.

Leading networking instructor Rick Graziani explains all the basics simply and clearly, step-by-step, providing all the details you'll need to succeed. You'll learn why IPv6 is necessary, how it was created, how it works, and how it has become the protocol of choice in environments ranging from cloud to mobile and IoT.

Graziani thoroughly introduces IPv6 addressing, configuration options, and routing protocols, including EIGRP for IPv6, and OSPFv3 (traditional configuration and with address families). Building on this coverage, he then includes more in-depth information involving these protocols and processes.

This edition contains a completely revamped discussion of deploying IPv6 in your network, including IPv6/IPv4 integration, dynamic address allocation, and understanding IPv6 from the perspective of the network and host. You'll also find improved coverage of key topics such as Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC), DHCPv6, and the advantages of the solicited node multicast address.

Throughout, Graziani presents command syntax for Cisco IOS, Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, as well as many examples, diagrams, configuration tips, and updated links to white papers and official RFCs for even deeper understanding.

Learn how IPv6 supports modern networks encompassing the cloud, mobile, IoT, and gaming devices
Compare IPv6 with IPv4 to see what has changed and what hasn't
Understand and represent IPv6 addresses for unicast, multicast, and anycast environments
Master all facets of dynamic IPv6 address allocation with SLAAC, stateless DHCPv6, and stateful DHCPv6
Understand all the features of deploying IPv6 addresses in the network including temporary addresses and the privacy extension
Improve operations by leveraging major enhancements built into ICMPv6 and ICMPv6 Neighbor Discovery Protocol
Configure IPv6 addressing and Access Control Lists using a common topology
Implement routing of IPv6 packets via static routing, EIGRP for IPv6, and OSPFv3
Walk step-by-step through deploying IPv6 in existing networks, and coexisting with or transitioning from IPv4

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