What is the Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6 Protocols? Explained 2021




If you are a computer user, you need to know the IP address, the unique address that each network device uses to communicate with each other. But did you know that two versions of IP currently coexist on the global Internet? IP version 4 (IPv4) and IP version 6 (IPv6). Let’s discuss IPv4 and IPv6 in detail. What are the differences between IPv4 and IPv6, and which one is better. Let’s start with

What is an IP address?

An IP address is an abbreviation of Internet Protocol address. This is a unique identification number for each device on the network. And each device is connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol to communicate. IP addresses are binary numbers, but they are usually stored in text files and represented as human-readable identifiers, such as. B. 151.101.65.121 (for IPv4) and 2001:4860:4860::8844 (for IPv6). In the OSI model, the IP address is considered part of the network layer, traditionally used in conjunction with a higher layer protocol, primarily TCP.

IP address pools are divided into 5 different classes – A, B, C, D and E. See the table below for more details.

Setting IPv4

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the fourth revision of IP and is a widely used protocol for transferring data across different types of networks. IPv4 is a connectionless protocol used in packet-switched networks such as Ethernet. It establishes a logical connection between devices on the network and provides an identification for each device. An IPv4 address is a binary value of 32 bits that can be represented by four decimal digits. (Via Wiki)

An example of an IPv4 address is 68.149.3.230.

IPv4 properties

  • Protocol without connection
  • Enables the creation of a simple virtual communication layer on a variety of devices.
  • This requires less memory and makes it easier to remember addresses.
  • Already supported on millions of devices
  • Provision of video libraries and conferences

IPv6 definition

IPv6 is a new (sixth) version of the Internet Protocol. IPv6 is the successor to Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), which will replace the current version 4 of IPv4. It was designed as an evolutionary upgrade to the Internet Protocol and will continue to coexist with the older IPv4 for some time. IPv6 is designed to enable steady growth of the Internet, both in terms of the number of connected hosts and the total volume of traffic sent.

IPv6 addresses have a size of 128 bits. As a result, IPv6 has a much larger address space than IPv4. An IPv6 address is represented by eight groups of four hexadecimal digits, with each group representing 16 bits (two bytes, a group is also called a hex). Groups are separated by colons (:).

ExampleIPv6 addresses: 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334

IPv6 features

  • Hierarchical addressing and routing infrastructure
  • Configuration with and without status monitoring
  • Support for quality of service (QoS)
  • Ideal protocol for communication between neighbouring nodes

What are the differences between IPv4 and IPv6?

  • IPv4 and IPv6 both refer to IP addressing standards that define how an IP address is assigned and what it is. Here the numbers, 4 and 6, indicate the version number.
  • IPv4 is the old version that could no longer assign IP addresses, and IPv6 is the new version launched to meet the growing demand for IP addresses.
  • IPv4 has IP addresses that are 32-bit numeric values written in decimal numbers, while IPv6 has 128-bit values written in hexadecimal numbers.
  • The Internet Protocolversion 6 (IPv6) is more advanced and can provide an infinite number of addresses.
  • IPv4 uses four one-byte decimal numbers separated by a dot (.) and each part contains a number between o and 255 (e.g.192.168.1.), while IPv6 uses hexadecimal numbers separated by a colon and contains 8 parts of 4 numbers each. You can see the alphabets (A-F). But they are actually numbers (A=10 B=11 C=12 D=13 E=14 F=15) (e.g. fe80::d4a8:6435:d2d8:d9f3b11). See the image below for a better understanding.

  • IP version 4 (IPv4) generates unique 4.29 x 109 network addresses, which are not sufficient. IP version 6 (IPv6) generates 3.4 x 1038 addresses and provides a scalable and flexible solution to the current problem.
  • IPv6 is used by less than 1% of networks, while IPv4 is still used by the remaining 99%.
  • IPv6 is more suitable for mobile networks than IPv4.

Here is the exact difference between IPv4 and IPv6

IPv4 IPv6
Address 32 bits (4 bytes) 128 bits (16 bytes)
Example:  12:34:56:78 Example: 1234:5678:9abc:def0:1234:5678:9abc:def0
Pack size 576 bytes required, optional fragmentation 1280 bytes without fragmentation
Package fragmentation Router and transmitter Sending hosts only
Package head Does not identify the packet stream for QoS processing. Contains a Flow Label field that identifies the packet flow for QoS processing.
Contains the checksum Contains no checksum
Contains options Extension headers used for additional data
Up to 40 bytes
DNS data Addressed records (A), addressable (AAAA),
Host name Host name
Pointer records (PTR), Pointer records (PTR),
DNS domain IN-ADDR.ARPA DNS domain IP6.ARPA
Address configuration Manually or via DHCP Automatically configure stateful addresses (SLAAC) with Internet Control Message Protocol version 6 (ICMPv6) or DHCPv6.
IP MAC address resolution ARP broadcasting Isolation of multicast neighbors
Management of local subnetwork groups Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) Multicast listener detection (MLD)
Broadcast Yes No
Multicast Yes Yes
IPSec optional, external mandatory website

So, which is better: IPv4 or IPv6? IPv4 is currently used by 99% of devices and has been around for a long time, but when it comes to security, IPv6 has the advantage. Almost all major websites such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc. now use IPv6 and its features for the networking industry. Did you find this article useful? Let us know what you think below. Also read the comparison of the speed and performance of hard drives and SSDs.

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