IPv6 is the next-stage IP addressing scheme. Using four times as many bits (128) as the current standard, IPv6 offers nearly limitless growth as well as advanced features such as improved routing, authentication and privacy features, and the ability to extend header information to take advantage of future needs. IPv6 addresses are backward compatible with IPv4 addresses.

Porting an existing IPv4 application to use IPv6 is not difficult, but a developer should remember some key points when doing the port:

• Each system running the application needs to support IPv6, and the IPv6 support must be enabled.

• The user interfaces for the application must accommodate the larger address values that are possible with IPv6.

• Using getaddrinfo() and getnameinfo() can provide name and address conversions for both IPv4 and IPv6 without being specific to either.

• If it's using IPv4 and IPv6, the application should accommodate both and use a portable structure for storing address and port information.

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