How Long Will NAT Keep IPv6 Adoption At Bay?

5 min read

Even though every business organization across the world have been made aware of the fact that the last of IPv4 addresses have been allocated, there is a strange reluctance among all to go for IPv6 adoption. This behavior might be quite confusing to anyone who is not completely aware about the scenario. However, in view of the current scenario, it is pretty much expected from the business organizations across the globe.

America, one of the leaders when it comes to adoption of the modern technology and staying ahead of others in the world, has actually stocked a pile of IPv4 addresses for itself and is in no hurry to make the shift towards IPv6. Quite similar is the story of many more countries where there is already a considerable amount of IPv4 addresses that have been bought and accumulated for the long run. However, keeping in view the tremendous growth of the Internet, shouldn’t the IPv4 addresses run out pretty soon in the various nations? Certainly, it should. The reason why that is not happening is NAT.

NAT or Network Address Translation works as a mediator between the Internet and the various users accessing the Internet. While explaining the working of the NAT it is better to view the Internet as the public network and a certain group of computers or devices as the private network. The NAT router sits between these two.

How does the NAT router works?

NAT router acts much like the receptionist at the entrance of an office building. There is just one IPv4 address assigned to the NAT router. This router can have numerous other systems connected to it and each of these systems will have their own IP. However, these IPs are not taken from the pool of IPv4 addresses assigned from the global IP database. These are the local IPs assigned to a group of systems communicating with the Internet. Thus, it is called the private network. The NAT router maps the address of each of these systems and sends the data packet as requested back to the system from where the request originated.

How does the NAT rivals the IPv6?

To put it more precisely, the NAT does not actually rival the IPv6. It is basically lengthening the lifespan of the existing IPv4 addresses and making it possible for the organizations across the globe to delay the complete onset of IPv6. Since the NAT actually acts as a mask for a number of systems, thus, even though there has been a rapid increase in the number of Internet users, there are IPv4 addresses available still that can serve the demand.

Is IPv6 adoption necessary?

Business organizations are known to cut down on expenses quite heavily. It is natural not to feel the need of IPv6 adoption right at the moment. However, you should remember, NAT wasn’t meant to be a replacement for IPv6. It was meant for providing a smoother transition period. Eventually NAT will not be able to support the immense load and IPv6 will become a necessity. Modern businesses with good foresight will see this issue and will go for IPv6 adoption.

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