Internet Protocol version 6 and the future of home networking

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Title: Internet Protocol version 6 and the future of home networking
Author: Blumsack, Laurie
Abstract: Home networking will be more of a necessity in the future than it is today. The homes of the future will make our lives easier in many ways. As microprocessors become less expensive and require less power they will be implanted into many of the common household items used everyday. Appliances and components will evolve into smart devices that communicate with each other. Connecting these devices will become more important as devices incorporate new technologies. It will be necessary to build a network that can handle the needs of this type of computing environment. The home networks of the future will require many of the same features that can be found in today's corporate networks. However, there will be four issues that will determine the level of success of implementing home networks. The first issue is the increase in volume of the devices accessing and utilizing the Internet. Security will be a high priority for homeowners, since the data that accumulates and circulates in and out of the home is sensitive and personal. The third critical issue is ease of use, because the average homeowner does not have the skills necessary to configure and maintain networks. The last issue that will be important in the home is the increased need for bandwidth and the ability to accommodate all types of data traffic. There is no doubt that the Internet Protocol will be important in future home networks. Some proponents of IP say "IP over everything" The trend has been finding new ways of making IP the answer to all types of voice and data communications. Initially the Internet Protocol was designed for a specific application. Over time, IPv4 has been able to successfully adapt to the changing needs and demands of the Internet. At one point in the early 90's, it was feared that IPv4 would not be able to meet the future needs. As a result, The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) developed a next generation Internet Protocol, referred to as Internet Protocol version 6. In the meantime, new fixes to old IPv4 problems have been temporarily halted. The implementation of IPv6 has been extremely slow since the imminent danger of declining address space has been temporarily addressed. IP version 6 has many new features built into the protocol that will streamline and enhance many aspects of the network, but these features alone may not be enough to cause the displacement of the massive infrastructure of IPv4. Will IPv6 be better at handling the demands of the home networks of the future, or will the additions and updates for IPv4 be sufficient? What are some of the resolutions that are being developed or are already implemented for the key issues in home networks- the increasing number of devices, security, ease of use and data flow?
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/13963
Date: 2000

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