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What is IPv6?

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is the next generation protocol designed by the IETF to replace the current version Internet Protocol, IP Version 4 ("IPv4").

IPv6 is built into the Windows 2003 and XP. IPv6 is designed to solve many of the problems of the current version of IP (known as IPv4) with regard to address depletion, security, auto-configuration, extensibility, and more. Its use will also expand the capabilities of the Internet to enable a variety of valuable and exciting scenarios, including peer-to-peer and mobile applications.

The 128-bit IPv6 address is separated into eight 16-bit hexadecimal numbers divided by colons (:). The preferred format is xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx, for example:

21DA:00D3:0000:2F3B:02AA:00FF:FE28:9C5A

IPv6 representation can be further simplified by removing the leading zeros within each 16-bit block. However, each block must have at least a single digit. With leading zero suppression, the address representation becomes:

21DA:D3:0:2F3B:2AA:FF:FE28:9C5A

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