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Differences between IPv4 vs IPv6: Everything You Need to Know

Everything from appliances to vehicles may be linked with IPv6. The fact that IPv6 has more IT addresses than IPv4 isn’t the sole benefit of IPv6 over IPv4. Here are six additional reasons to make sure your gear, software, and services support IPv6 in celebration of World IPv6 Day.

IPv4 vs IPv6 are the most demanded request. It’s no secret that the Internet, which presently uses the internet protocol version 4 (IPv4), has a finite amount of IP addresses and has already run out of them to meet current demand.

With ever-increasing Internet penetration and the majority of the population owning one or more smart devices, the new protocol version 6 (IPv6) is widely regarded as the best solution for meeting such demands, especially since the number of IPv6 addresses available is sufficient to assign an address to every atom on the planet.

Despite the fact that IPv4 is still the industry standard, the new version of the Internet protocol is gradually replacing it. However, before entirely switching to IPv6, it’s vital to understand the key distinctions between IPv4 and IPv6.



ON THIS PAGE: Differences between IPv4 vs IPv6: Everything You Need to Know


Despite the fact that both protocols are used to identify computers connected to a network, there is evidence of fundamental structural differences since the two protocols operate differently. While IPv4 has a 32-bit address length, resulting in 4.3 billion usable IPs, the latter has a 128-bit address length, resulting in 340 undecillion worldwide unique IPs – enough for each user for decades to come and enough to meet the expanding Internet infrastructure demands.

IP Address – IPv4 vs IPv6 Tutorial

A new procedure has been established

In terms of complexity and efficiency, the new protocol outperforms IPv4. Unlike the prior protocol, which required a newly installed system to be configured before it could connect with other systems, version 6 setup is substantially quicker.
Furthermore, since IPv4 is a restricted network, network managers must find out how to properly allot available addresses so that the system does not run out of IPs.

On the contrary, since IPv6 has so many IP addresses, it relieves tension, albeit it’s worth mentioning that IPv6 isn’t much easier than the previous protocol. Such an automated procedure allows devices to configure themselves independently, allowing for smoother overall network connections, which is particularly important given the fact that the number of mobile devices has increased by 121 million in the last year and is still growing.

IPV6 v IPV4: what are they, what's the difference, which is most secure?

There are fewer issues and there is more security.

In essence, having infinite IPv6 resources means that controlling IP attribution is easier. Anyone with a smart device may connect to the network without jeopardising the infrastructure, particularly because the bulk of the population uses numerous devices, including cellphones, laptops, and PCs.

It’s also vital to remember that IPv4 was not created with increased security in mind. Protocol version 4 lacks an integrated Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) option, which enables secrecy, authentication, and data integrity, in contrast to IPv6.

The new protocol is believed to be considerably safer since it has an IPSec feature that allows it to run end-to-end encryption, which prohibits third parties from obtaining data during transmission.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Aside from structural variations and user demands, protocol version 6 contributes to the quicker growth of IoT (Internet of Things), particularly since its complicated character and large number of address spaces make it more equipped to support future industrial growth. According to McKinsey, the global total number of IoT-connected devices is expected to treble by 2023, reaching 43 billion.

This implies that any item linked to the Internet need an IP address in order to function. However, since IPv4 is so limited, each of the connected devices exacerbates the situation by putting more load on the Internet, stifling the IoT sector’s total development.

When it comes to IPv6 adoption, the Internet of Things is expected to be a major factor. Trillions of IP addresses accessible in IPv6 might assist simplify the growth of the IoT business and provide its products ways to function for a very long time, given the rising need for continual connection and the double number of devices linked to the network.

However, even with complete IPv6 distribution, we must remember that IPv4 will continue to exist owing to a vast number of devices that will continue to function on IPv4.

The introduction of IPv6 is the inevitable next stage in the Internet development, given the rising pressure on the market and the necessity to meet the growing demand for network connectivity. However, because complete implementation seems to be a long way off and we continue to connect more and more devices to the Internet, there are other solutions to alleviate IPv4 depletion, one of which is IP leasing, which allows market parties to monetize IP resources. It may make the transition to the new protocol easier, as well as prevent the network from crashing and burning until IPV6 is widely deployed.

The Internet revolution is underway.


The “IP” in IPv4 and IPv6 refers to the Internet Protocol, a set of rules that govern how devices communicate data packets over the Internet. Each device on the internet is likewise given a unique address by the Internet Protocol. Data packets are directed to the relevant device using these addresses.

What exactly is IPv4?
The most prevalent protocol for transferring data packets on the internet is IPv4, or Internet Protocol Version 4. IPv4 offers both the identification (IP addresses) and the rules that control how data packets are delivered between devices on the Internet.

A typical IP address in IPv4 has 32 bits and is written in dotted-decimal format, as follows: is the IP address of a computer that is connected to the
There are only roughly 4.3 billion IPv4 addresses since there are only 232 distinct hosts in this decimal format.

What exactly is IPv6?
In the previous decade, the number of devices linked to the Internet has exploded, rising from 5 to 50 per home between 2015 and 2020. The Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) was compelled to build IPv6, a new Internet protocol. It came out in December of 1998.

The following is an example of an IPv6 address in hexadecimal format:


Differences between IPv4 vs IPv6: Everything You Need to Know

Pros and Cons of IPv4 vs. IPv6

Despite the fact that IPv6 is the more recent and updated IP, IPv4 still has several benefits:

Existing infrastructure: The majority of websites, including those that support IPv6, utilise IPv4. As a result, version four provides a more smooth experience. That is, until the vast majority of the Internet migrates to Version 6.
IPv4’s 32-bit dotted decimal numbers are substantially smaller and easier to understand than IPv6’s hexadecimal numerals. Humans can read this kind of simplicity more easily.
Support: Because IPv4 is still used for the majority of traffic, network operators are acquainted with it. They may decide to wait until more traffic is IPv6 before making any infrastructure changes, particularly if they have adequate IPv4 addresses for the time being.

The Disadvantages of IPv4 vs. IPv6

The lack of IPv4 addresses isn’t the sole disadvantage of version four.

  • IPv4 address exhaustion: As we’ve seen, the world is running out of IPv4 addresses. This implies that purchasing IPv4 addresses is expensive, but purchasing IPv6 addresses (in unfathomable amounts) is just the cost of registering with a regional registry (RIR). With IPv4, you must additionally pay registrar fees.IPv6 Transfer Rate: Akamai, a web and cloud services company, tested the speed of IPv6 vs IPv4. “Sites load 5 percent quicker in the median and 15% quicker for the 95 percent percentile on IPv6 compared to IPv4” they discovered.
  • IPv4 Network Address Translation (NAT): With IPv4, NAT enables a group of devices (typically 10-20) to share a single public IP. This requires complicated setup such as firewall changes and forwarding. IPv6 devices do not need any further settings since it has so many addresses.

Getting a Glimpse of the IPv4 Market

IPv4’s advantages, paired with the scarcity of addresses, spawned a new industry. Firms who need IPv4 addresses may purchase them, while companies that want to migrate to IPv6 may sell IPv4 numbers.

When a business need extra IP addresses, it has three options:

IPv4 addresses may be purchased at IPv4.Global. If a company is transitioning to IPv6, it may also sell its IPv4 addresses.
Use the NAT protocol: As previously stated, NAT enables a single address to be shared by several devices. NAT, on the other hand, still needs one IPv4 address (usually one per 10-20 people). This has various disadvantages, including performance concerns due to the need for packets to change pathways.
Install IPv6: A firm may deploy IPv6, but it will be of little benefit until the majority of traffic is on IPv6 as well. So, even if a company implements IPv6, it will still need additional IPv4 addresses or NAT.

What exactly is “Performance”?

The word “performance” in networking may refer to a variety of things. We may often characterize a network’s performance based on its carrying capacity, end-to-end latency, or degree of delay fluctuation or jitter. Each of these factors has the potential to impact an application’s performance. Carrying capacity and end-to-end delay impact large-scale data transfers, while raw encoding of a speech or video stream may be more susceptible to jitter than to end-to-end delay.

However, when comparing the relative performance of these two IP protocols, many of these performance metrics become irrelevant. If we have two sessions running between the same endpoints, using the same end-to-end transport protocol and the same applications at each end, performing the same transaction at nearly the same time, and we only change the IP protocol used by these two sessions, much of what we observe as “performance” is consistent across both transactions. If that’s the case, what may change when we change the IP protocol?

There seem to be two elements of performance that may differ between the two procedures and have an effect on the final outcome.

The first is the protocol’s dependability. Are all efforts to connect successful? Do we see a greater rate of connection failure in one protocol or the other? Is there middleware on the network route that drops IP packets depending on the IP protocol?

Difference Between IPV4 And IPV6 2021: Best Comparison IPV4 Vs IPV6 - Gizmo  Concept

The second factor is the total travel time. Despite the fact that the same two endpoints are involved, the network route used by one protocol may differ from that taken by the other. In the routing world, routing protocols often function on a per-protocol basis, and even peering and transit arrangements utilized between providers may vary per protocol. As a consequence, the network may have different routes.

There are also more subtle problems with the router’s packet processing. Depending on the header choices in the IP packet and the kind of router, IP packets of one protocol may be switched through an optimized path, while packets of the other protocol may be switched via a slower path. As a consequence, packets of one protocol may take longer to traverse a network than packets of another. The longer the transmission delay between the two endpoints, the higher the effect on network transaction performance.

This leads to the conclusion that, in order to compare the performance of these two versions of IP, we need focus on the relative levels of dependability of connection formation and relative round trip durations over a series of trials in which all other variables are kept constant. Is it possible to predict the expected performance of a network transaction by just changing the IP protocol from IPv4 to IPv6?

Performance Evaluation
This measurement is based on information gathered from end-user measurements. The measuring method makes advantage of an advertising distribution network to put a measurement script into the user’s browser.

The script retrieves three invisible pixels, one through a URL that is only accessible via IPv4, the second via IPv6, and the third using any protocol. All of these pixels are loaded from the experiment’s servers, and each server keeps a complete packet log. The real measurements are taken at the server end, not at the user endpoint.

Connection failure from the server is difficult to assess since the job includes some elements of trying to measure something that does not exist. However, in this test, we are using TCP, and one element of connection failure is apparent to the server.

To begin a session, TCP employs a three-way handshake. Normally, this would resemble Figure 1. The server gets a TCP SYN-enabled opening TCP packet. When the server gets an ACK packet, the connection is complete. The servers will reply with a TCP packet with the SYN and ACK flags set.

TCP Handshake
A hanging connection is one obvious kind of failure in which the server sees and replies to the initial SYN but does not get the ACK to complete the connection. The relative ratio of hung connections is what we can measure for each protocol.

What proportion of all connection attempts fail to complete, and does this figure change when IPv4 and IPv6 connections are considered? This is not a full picture of connection failures since we can see the first SYN of an attempted connection, but it is a valuable comparison measure because it enables us to directly compare one element of connection resilience between IPv4 and IPv6.

The end-to-end delay, measured as a round trip time, is the second measurable quantity. TCP keeps a continuous record of round trip time measurements by looking at the time data was transmitted and the time data was acknowledged on the server.

However, this data may be noisy due to components such as delayed ACKs in the TCP protocol, as well as client-side problems such as internal task scheduling in both the host operating system and the browser itself, as well as comparable server-side concerns.

Looking at the time it takes to complete a TCP connection, from receipt to the first SYN to the following ACK, is one method to eliminate most of the additional noise component to the underlying signal of round trip delay.

This TCP connection procedure is usually conducted as a kernel function inside the operating system and is less prone to induced jitter from external causes, providing us with one of the clearest methods to see the end-to-end round trip latency.

So, using these measures of connection failure and relative RTT, let us compare IPv4 and IPv6.

Measurement Outcomes
This experiment was first carried out in 2011 and then again in 2015, allowing us to determine whether or not the situation has changed over the last four years.

IPv4 vs IPv6 — What’s The Difference Between the Two Protocols?

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

There’s a lot of disagreement over whether IPv4 or IPv6 is preferable. But, at the end of the day, it’s all about you. Please contact us if you’d like additional information on the differences between IPv4 and IPv6, or if you need assistance with either.

Differences between IPv4 vs IPv6: Everything You Need to Know

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