IPv6 introduces the Neighbor Discovery protocol, which uses messaging as the means to handle the interaction between neighbor nodes. Neighbor nodes are IPv6 nodes that are on the same link. For example, by issuing neighbor discovery-related messages, a node can learn a neighbor's link-local address. Neighbor Discovery controls the following major activities on the IPv6 local link:
Prefix discovery – Enables nodes to discover the known subnet prefixes that have been allocated to a link. Nodes use prefixes to distinguish destinations that are on the local link from those destinations that are only reachable through a router.
Neighbor Discovery uses the following ICMP message types for communication among nodes on a link:
For detailed information on Neighbor Discovery messages and other Neighbor Discovery protocol topics, refer to IPv6 Neighbor Discovery Protocol. For technical information on Neighbor Discovery, see RFC 2461, Neighbor Discovery for IP Version 6 (IPv6).