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Previously, in Part 1, we discussed how the old Internet Protocol scheme, IPv4, creates complications for VoIP connections. The long-term solution to the problem is IPv6. Version 6, which has been around since the turn of the century, uses 128-bit addresses instead of 32-bit ones. The number of addresses this version allows is hard to imagine. If you had a hundred million kilograms of hydrogen, you could assign each atom its own address. Every Internet-connected device can easily have a permanent, public address of its own.

Why switch to IPv6?

IPv6 offers other advantages. It includes a packet-marking feature that helps to support QoS (Quality of Service). It eliminates the overhead of Network Address Translation (NAT), allowing better signal quality. The protocol's autoconfiguration feature will make it easier to add phones to a network on a "plug and play" basis.

Why aren't we using IPv6 everywhere?

The problem is that anything that's widely used and well established is hard to replace. Almost every device connected to the Internet understands IPv4, but a lot of hardware and software can't deal with version 6. A connection has to fall back to IPv4 unless every node along the way is capable of IPv6. Another issue is human understanding. We can hold an address like 10.1.203.112 in our heads, but one like FE80::0202:B1FF:FE1E:8125 (and that's just a short form address!) is a little scary.

Staying current

The pressures to move to IPv6 are increasing, though, and Internet telephony is one of them. Google's statistics show an adoption curve that looks exponential. The most recent numbers show over 10% of users worldwide using IPv6, more than double the percentage in January 2015. In the United States, adoption is over 29%. Once it becomes the normal way to find devices, the ease and quality of VoIP connections will skyrocket.

To learn how TelWare can aid your transition to VoIP or improve your existing network, contact TelWare at 1-800-637-3148 or sales@telware.com. TelWare is a national leader in the installation of voice, video, data and unified communication solutions. TelWare is an authorized Avaya, Star2Star and SimpleWAN dealer.

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