Every time you use the Internet you use an Internet Protocol (IP)-a set of
rules for communication between computers. Internet Protocol Version 6 (or
IPv6 as its more commonly known) is an upgrade to the most currently
available Internet Protocol (version 4, IPv4).
IPv4 was designed a long time ago in computer terms (about 1980) and since
then; there were many requests for enhanced capabilities. Currently IPv4
serves what could be called the computer market, the driving force behind
the growth of the Internet.
Each computer has an address (called an IP address) that allows other
computers to communicate with it. There is a growing shortage of IPv4
addresses, which are needed by all new machines added to the internet. The
main driver for the deployment of IPv6 is its ability to expand the
address space of the Internet.
IPv6 will also bring many other improvements to IPv4 including routing and
network autoconfiguration. It will play a fundamental role in the
deployment of 3G Mobile Networks and its new generation of multimedia
services and applications.
The National Irish IPv6 Centre flyer is available here (pdf).