What Is The Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6

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What Is The Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6

It would be hardly impossible to find someone who does not use the internet nowadays. And if you use the internet you might have heard about the IP address. As of 2019, we are into the 6th version of IP address protocol which is called IPv6. IPv6 was launched almost 2 decades back. But still many people do not use the internet. Does that mean IPv6 is bad? Let’s find out the answer to all these types of question and will figure out the What Is The  Differences Between IPv4 And IPv6

Before going further let’s find out what IP address actually means?

What is an IP ( Internet Protocol) address?

An IP address is nothing but an array an of numbers assigned to a device so that it can communicate with another device over the internet. It’s a technical format and addressing scheme for giving an address to a device connected to the internet Let’s take a simple example. You have a phone, you have a sim into it and you have a network in it. But if your SIM does not have a number allocated, will someone be able to contact you? No. The same logic applied in the internet world. Without an IP address, you can not communicate with the internet world. Now every IP address follows some standards which get reflected in different IP version ( In short IPV). At present we are using IP version 4 ( IPv4) and IP version 6 ( IPv6)

diffrence between ipv4 and Ipv6

What is Domain name?

Now you know that every device has an IP address to communicate. So if you want to contact a device on the internet you will have to know that device IP address. Now is it really possible trillions of IP address? No. It’s impossible. That’s why we use the domain name which is easy to memorise. Like how we save phone numbers by some name. Domain name saves the IP address. When you call your friend, you are actually dialling his phone numbers. The same way when you browse a website ( Domain name) you are asking to connect to an IP address associated with that domain name.

What is IPv4?

IPv4 is the internet protocol version 4 which provides a 32-bit numerical number to each device connected to the internet. It is written in decimal format and has 4 number separated by periods. Each number can bein between 0 to 255. A sample IPv4 address is shown below. Since IPv4 follows 32-bit numeric sytem so there can be approximately 4.3 billion unique IPv4 address.

167.0.0.1

What is IPv6

IPv6 is a 128 bit IP address system. It follows the hexadecimal numbering system and 8 numbers are separated by a colon. Since IPv6 follows a 128-bit system so we can have approximately 3.4*10ˆ38 unique IPv6 addresses.

2605:a000:1123:61cb:ec88:ccb0:3381:6619

Why do we need IPv6?

We are running out of IPv4. As I said before we can have a maximum of 4.3 billion IPv4 address. The number is less if you compare the total internet users. But still, we get a unique IPv4 address. How? Its because not every device over the internet are allocated a unique IP address. Instead, the route gets a unique IP address as all devices connected to that router share the same address. But in an ideal scenario, all devices should get a unique IP address and IPv6 is capable of doing that. The reason being Ipv6 has almost infinite numbers to allocate.

Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6

Apart from a unlimied unique IP address in IPv6, there are also some major differences between IPv4 and IPv6

End to End Connectivity

Since all devices will get an uniques IP address so end to end connection will be possible in IPv6. Presently only routers get IP addresses in IPv4 and all devices connected to that router shares the same IP address.

No Geographical Monopoly.

50% of IP addresses are owned by the United States when it was launched. IPv6 does not favour any country and will be available across a wider geographical periphery.

Security Enhancement

IPv6 is considered to be more secured due to the Internet Control Message protocol (ICMP) is uses compare to IPv6. Firewall configuration and other security measure are improved in IPv6.

Automatic Configuration

Since every device gets an IP address so auto-configuration is possible. For every devices, the IPv6 address is generated from Mac address which is again unique to every device. This helps for devices to connect to each other over the internet.

Why we still don’t use IPv6 much?

Well, apart from offering almost unlimited unique IP addresses, IPv6 does not offer any deal breaker feature for which consumer will be craving for. Below I listed a couple of other reason for which IPv6 is still not that popular in the internet world.

  • IPv6 is slow. The reason is still unknown but in testing, it was found that it is marginally slow compared to IPv4.
  • We still have some IPv4 addresses left out. Let’s use those before we move to IPv6.
  • IPv6 does not offer backward compatibility. For example, if your website uses IPv6 but your router and ISP still uses IPv4, then you can’t access that website.
  • IPv6 does not support VPNs. If you try to access a website on IPv6 though VPS, either your request will be ignored or VPN will try to route that using some external DNS.
  • IPv6 does not offer monetary benefits to web hosts. There are no direct benefits that companies will get if they implement IPv6. So they just stay away from investing money on IPv6 until there is a need.

Wrapping Up!

The trend is changing nowadays and more web hosts started supporting IPv6. Since IPv6 does not offer direct significant benefits, so users are still not ready to move. Hopefully, IPv6 will come out of its drawbacks and that can attract people to migrate to IPv6.

That’s all we have in this article. Hope you liked the article and found some useful information. If you have any queries please do write in the comment section and I will be happy to answer. If you find this article helpful please rate us five stars.

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Rajib
A Technologist by profession but a geek by heart. Loves writing about technical stuffs and eager to drive when time permits. A Hyderabadi foodie with the roots of a cultural Bengali.

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