Thursday, January 17, 2013

IPv6 can boost the performance of Mobile Networks

As we all know the next version of Internet protocol is IPv6 which is said that it made the life of the people more easier than before. IPv6 is a big step up from the Internet Protocol version 4. The IPv4 is the IP address, which is made of sequence of four sets of numbers. This IPv4 was used from long time ago. IP address is what allows communication between different devices. However due to the ever-growing usage of the internet, the number of sequence in IPv4 has been exhausted. The solution to overcome this problem was IPv6 which would use as a set of six numbers so to allocate more number of new addresses to the users. IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
The mobile devices having IPv6 has many benefits over IPv4 for mobile networks and the devices connecting them. As we know that IPv6 has six set of numbers for addresses so there is almost endless IP addresses. Because of this, NAT (Network Address Translation) is not supported in IPv6. In fact, NAT is not being implemented at all in IPv6 networks. NAT is used to allow the multiple devices to share the same IP address. As this was necessary in IPv4, due to lack of IP addresses for everyone and everything. The condition had become so worse that no new address was left for anyone.
Now with IPv6 every single device has a unique and globally accessible IPv6 addresses. The fact of mobile network using IPv4 is that NAT increases the latency by a few milliseconds. This is because the network switch has to translate the IP addresses for routing packets between the public IP address used by the switch, and the internal IP address used by the mobile network. This is also in the case of home internet connections but the latency is quite low so it’s not so noticeable, but it is especially noticeable with mobile networks.
So with globally accessible unique address per device offers the quick point to point communication. Because the device doesn’t have to tell the NAT layer that it is still connected and waiting for the data. This also serves another purpose that the battery will not drain as much when actively accessing the mobile network to access resources on the internet. This is especially important when we use the services like Google Talk video chat or Skype. Because these types of services rely on direct peer to peer communication to work properly in real-time. When NAT is used to insert in between, it delays the service because of keep-alive packets and the requisite way along the multiple networks through NAT.
Of course, there are some pitfalls present. Every device may need a firewall with an intrusion detection system to protect the mobile devices from direct attacks as the devices would be directly accessible from the global network. The antivirus scanning of files downloads would become more important in using the IPv6 networks.
But the advantages of the IPv6 are too important to ignore the few pitfalls. This IPv6 can be used in many of the smartphones and tablets including iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III etc. Now usage of IPv6 is on full swing and we should get used to IPv6 and building services that operate well over IPv6 because as soon as we will have to completely switch to IPv6.