IPv6 is the new version of the Internet Protocol (IP) on which Internet operation is based. The basic technical specifications for IPv6 were developed in the 90s at the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). To date, the protocol continues to add new features and is considered mature enough to replace IPv4 and support Internet operation.
The main motivation behind IPv6 design and deployment was to expand available Internet address space. This will allow connecting billions of new devices (tablets, mobile phones, smart TVs), new users and “always-on” technologies (xDSL, cable TV, residential Ethernet, residential fiber optics, wireless networks, etc.).
The IP protocol version that will be discontinued is called IPv4. IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses and in theory provides 2^32 (about four billion) globally unique network interfaces. Instead, IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses and can therefore allow 2^128 network interfaces (340.282.366.920.938.463.463.374.607.431.768.211.456).
IPv6 may well be the most important change in the history of the Internet, as this new protocol is needed for the World Wide Web to continue to grow in a safe and stable manner.