With all the confusing back and forth regarding IPv6, it’s no wonder there are so many unfounded rumors about the new version of the Internet protocol suite. You’ve already seen one such rumor, in my previous article, which debunked the ever-pervasive notion that IPsec is a mandatory element of IPv6. At least there was a grain of truth in that one, since the implementation of IPsec is mandatory, but the deployment of the protocol is not. A rather murky distinction, so the confusion was understandable.
I wish I could say that all of the myths are grounded at least partially in the facts- or the misunderstanding of the facts. But in all honesty, the culprit in this case seems to be a number of “marketing heavy” statements made by both proponents and opponents of IPv6.
First up, we’ve got the misconception that IPv6 is somehow more secure than IPv4. This is, quite frankly, false. As security is concerned, the only real difference between the two is the aforementioned mandatory implementation of IPsec in IPv6. At the end of the day, both standards ultimately use the same security. As you might recall, IPsec was designed with IPv6 in mind, and simply adapted to function with IPv4. It’s ultimately the same security system, either way.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who have claimed IPv6 is actually going to be detrimental to the Web by making it slower and less secure. The reason? Network Address Translation(the development of which drastically slowed IPv4’s IP address exhaustion) is going to be absent in the new protocol suite. The claim certainly does make sense. After all, with the way things are currently set up, NAT supposedly ensures that there’s really no way for a hacker to find your actual IP address by acting sort of like an ad hoc firewall for your system.
That’s the myth, anyway. Stay tuned for Thursday’s post for the truth…