IPv4 and IPv6: Comparison

IPv4 and IPv6 are two different versions of Internet protocol (IP). For that reason, it is important to understand what are the differences between them. So, let’s explain a little bit more!

Internet Protocol (IP) – What is it?

Internet protocol, or as we know it, more popular as IP, establishes a group of communication rules which control the format of the information transferred among the networks or the Internet. 

Thanks to the IP, it is easy to set the most suitable structures for packets to transport data until they are delivered. In addition, it includes several methods for addressing, and it routes datagrams across networks. Therefore, the transportation of data packets from their origin to their target destination depends on IP addresses.

When it comes to connections on the Internet, it is crucial to know who is requesting some data and who is supposed to provide the information, like routers, websites, servers, Internet of Things, and so on. IP addresses serve for identifying and connecting with the machines, devices, servers. That makes it possible to achieve communication and exchange of information.

IPv4 address 

The older Internet Protocol between IPv4 and IPv6 is the 4th version of IP. As an Internet Protocol (IP), its intent is to specify the rules for communication and how the data packets should be transmitted.

An essential characteristic of IPv4 is that it doesn’t require to set a connection between the two points fully. Instead, it just sends a message and does not remain to understand if it was successful. For that reason, it is perfect for the Internet.

The IPv4 addresses are short and relatively easy to use, 32-bit addresses that identify every connected host. These addresses contain 4 groups of numbers with 3 numbers in each of them. 

Example: 123.45.67.89

IPv6 address

The latest version of Internet Protocol between IPv4 and IPv6 is the 6th version of the IP. Something interesting is that IPv6 has been around for more than twenty years. It was introduced in 1995. The massive expansion of devices desiring to join the Internet indicated that IPv4 wouldn’t be capable of fulfilling such requirements. Therefore the IPv6 was developed. Yet, people were not prepared to quit utilizing IPv4. It is a process that demands more time.

These addresses include eight parts of four hexadecimal digits, and they are all divided by colons. In addition, each sequence represents 16 bits.

Example with Google’s IPv6 address: 2607:f8b0:4004:0807:0000:0000:0000:200e

Comparison between IPv4 and IPv6

  • Thanks to the 128-bit addresses, the latest IPv6 is able to supply more than enough available IP addresses. Instead, IPv4 addresses are almost to their limit.
  • With IPv6, there are no difficulties with the packets’ fragmentation. However, the older IPv4 address had some difficulties while experiencing it.
  • IPv6 holds a remarkable innovation – IPSec. It is a way for authentication, which includes encrypting the connection. In addition, it verifies the one sending the packets. That way, it gives the opportunity for the receiver actually to inspect the data’s origin.
  • If you are utilizing IPv6 in a network, you are also able to use the SLAAC (stateless address auto-configuration). It is going to provide a fresh host’s auto-configuration. For that reason, it won’t be necessary a DHCP server. Yet, DHCP could even be applied with IPv6 addresses too.

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