Lead Image © Suzanne Tucker, 123RF.com

Lead Image © Suzanne Tucker, 123RF.com

Monitoring IPv6 with Wireshark

New Dust with Old Brooms

Article from ADMIN 50/2019
By
Although IPv6 is still waiting for its big breakthrough, on many networks, admins can no longer avoid it. Luckily, the free Wireshark tool can provide valuable error analysis.

Sys admins around the world use the free network protocol analyzer Wireshark to monitor traffic and troubleshoot problems on TCP/IP networks. If you're wondering whether you'll still be able to use Wireshark in the IPv6 era, the answer is yes, but you'll need to be aware of some important differences between the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. This article begins with some background on IPv6 and shows you how to get started with using Wireshark to monitor IPv6 communications.

About IPv6

Like an IPv4 address, an IPv6 address consists of two parts: The left side represents the network identifier, and the right side represents the host ID. The default prefix is /64 and divides the IP address into two halves, the routing area and the interface address (64 bits each). An IPv6 address consists of 128 bits and is usually expressed as eights sets of four hexadecimal digits (known as nibbles, quibbles, or hextets) separated by colons. For example, an IPv6 address looks like this: 2001: 0db8: 1010: 61ab: f005: ba11: 00da: 11a5 / 64 .

In Europe, providers obtain IPv6 addresses through the Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE-NCC) and then pass them on to users. A user who receives an IPv6 address is not actually the owner of the address. Instead, the user enters into a user agreement. All allocations are subject to the allocation guidelines.

IPv6 Address Types

IPv6 distinguishes between unicast, multicast, and anycast addresses. A unicast address represents a single host; each interface of the host can have more than one unicast address. Hosts are usually assigned two types of IPv6 unicast addresses: link local and global unicast addresses.

A link local address is similar to the private address in the IPv4 world and is used for communication on the local network (for example, with other hosts or

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