IPv4 vs IPv6 – Difference Between Them

IPv6 is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol. This new IP address version is being deployed to fulfill the need for more Internet addresses. It was aimed to resolve issues that are associated with IPv4. With 128-bit address space, it allows 340 undecillion unique address space. IPv6 is also called IPng (Internet Protocol next generation).

What is the difference between IPv4 and IPv6?

IPv6 (IP version 6), defined in RFC 2460, is the most recent generation of the Internet Protocol (IP) defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The first stable version of Internet Protocol (IP) was IPv4 (IP version 4). Whereas IPv6 is intended to eventually replace IPv4, they are tightly mingled right now—most engineers run them together.

Benefits of Using IPv6

The IP layer of the TCP/IP protocol stack is the most crucial piece of the whole Internet architecture. However, within ten years of IP going mainstream in the 1980s, the limitations of IPv4 in terms of scalability and capability became obvious. IPv4 requires several add-ons like ICMP and ARP to function. By the mid-1990s, a replacement scheme was developed. The move to IPv6 is necessary to accommodate the explosion of Internet requirements, Internet technology profile mandates that access via IPv4 and access via IPv6 have to coexist.

IPv6 offers these improvements over IPv4:

  • More efficient routing without fragmenting packets
  • Built-in Quality of Service (QoS) that distinguishes delay-sensitive packets
  • Elimination of NAT to extend address space from 32 to 128 bits
  • Network layer security built-in (IPsec)
  • Stateless address auto-configuration for easier network administration
  • Improved header structure with less processing overhead

How Do IPv4 and IPv6 Work?

  • The 128-bits in the IPv6 address are eight 16-bit hexadecimal blocks separated by colons. For example, 2dfc:0:0:0:0217:cbff:fe8c:0.
  • IPv4 addresses are divided into “classes” with Class A networks for a few huge networks, Class C networks for thousands of small networks, and Class B networks that are in between. IPv6 uses subnetting to adjust network sizes with a given address space assignment.
  • IPv4 uses class-type address space for multicast use ( IPv6 uses an integrated address space for multicast, at FF00::/8.
  • IPv4 uses “broadcast” addresses that forced each device to stop and look at packets. IPv6 uses multicast groups.
  • IPv4 uses as an unspecified address, and class-type address ( for loopback. IPv6 uses :: and ::1 as unspecified and loopback address respectively.
  • IPv4 uses globally unique public addresses for traffic and “private” addresses. IPv6 uses globally unique unicast addresses and local addresses (FD00::/8).

Juniper Networks Implementation

Juniper Networks complies with RFC 5952 in the standard assignment and display rules for IPv6 addresses. These rules mean that devices must accept all methods of address entry.

Junos Address Aware is an addressing and tunneling software portfolio for the MX Series routers that helps network operators conserve and extend their IPv4 address pool, ensure IPv4/IPv6 coexistence, and pragmatically transition to IPv6.

IPv4 vs IPv6 FAQs

Why are we switching from IPv4 to IPv6?

With the rapid growth of the Internet, enhancements to its IPv4 addressing scheme are needed to support the influx of new subscribers, Internet-enabled devices, and applications. Built upon the functionality of IPv4, IPv6 is designed to enable the continued global expansion of the Internet by creating a much larger pool of IP addresses while also providing improvements to Internet addressing, configuration, maintenance, and security capabilities.

Can you use both IPv4 and IPv6?

Yes. A device that supports dual-stack IPv4/IPv6 addressing can interoperate equally with IPv4-only, IPv6-only, and other dual-stacked IPv4/IPv6 devices. When two communicating devices are both dual stacked, they agree on which IP version to use.

Which is faster: IPv4 or IPv6?

In theory, IPv6 should be faster. However, owing to the larger packet sizes that IPv6 uses, it might be slower in some use cases.

Which type of interface card supports Carrier-Grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT)?

The Junos OS enables its users to implement and scale their CGNAT solutions based on the type of service interfaces used for the implementation. The MS-MPC, MS-MIC, and MX-SPC3 interface cards for Juniper MX Series Universal Routing Platforms, for example, perform compute-intensive CGNAT services.

IPv4 vs IPv6 – Difference Between Them

IPv4 vs IPv6

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the IP protocol for communication. An IP address acts as an identifier for a specific device on a particular network. The IP address is also called an IP number or Internet address.

IP address specifies the technical format of the addressing and packets scheme. Most networks combine IP with a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). It also allows developing a virtual connection between a destination and a source.

Now in this IPv4 and IPv6 difference tutorial, we will learn What is IPv4 and IPv6?

What is IPv4?

IPv4 is an IP version widely used to identify devices on a network using an addressing system. It was the first version of IP deployed for production in the ARPANET in 1983. It uses a 32-bit address scheme to store 2^32 addresses which is more than 4 billion addresses. It is considered the primary Internet Protocol and carries 94% of Internet traffic.

What is IPv6?

IPv6 is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol. This new IP address version is being deployed to fulfill the need for more Internet addresses. It was aimed to resolve issues that are associated with IPv4. With 128-bit address space, it allows 340 undecillion unique address space. IPv6 is also called IPng (Internet Protocol next generation).

Internet Engineer Taskforce initiated it in early 1994. The design and development of that suite are now called IPv6.

Features of IPv4

Following are the features of IPv4:

  • Connectionless Protocol
  • Allow creating a simple virtual communication layer over diversified devices
  • It requires less memory, and ease of remembering addresses
  • Already supported protocol by millions of devices
  • Offers video libraries and conferences

Features of IPv6

Here are the features of IPv6:

  • Hierarchical addressing and routing infrastructure
  • Stateful and Stateless configuration
  • Support for quality of service (QoS)
  • An ideal protocol for neighboring node interaction

Differences between IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses

Here is the main difference between IPv4 and IPv6:

Basis for differences IPv4 IPv6
Size of IP address IPv4 is a 32-Bit IP Address. IPv6 is 128 Bit IP Address.
Addressing method IPv4 is a numeric address, and its binary bits are separated by a dot (.) IPv6 is an alphanumeric address whose binary bits are separated by a colon (:). It also contains hexadecimal.
Number of header fields 12 8
Length of header filed 20 40
Checksum Has checksum fields Does not have checksum fields
Example 2001:0db8:0000:0000:0000:ff00:0042:7879
Type of Addresses Unicast, broadcast, and multicast. Unicast, multicast, and anycast.
Number of classes IPv4 offers five different classes of IP Address. Class A to E. lPv6 allows storing an unlimited number of IP Address.
Configuration You have to configure a newly installed system before it can communicate with other systems. In IPv6, the configuration is optional, depending upon on functions needed.
VLSM support IPv4 support VLSM (Variable Length Subnet mask). IPv6 does not offer support for VLSM.
Fragmentation Fragmentation is done by sending and forwarding routes. Fragmentation is done by the sender.
Routing Information Protocol (RIP) RIP is a routing protocol supported by the routed daemon. RIP does not support IPv6. It uses static routes.
Network Configuration Networks need to be configured either manually or with DHCP. IPv4 had several overlays to handle Internet growth, which require more maintenance efforts. IPv6 support autoconfiguration capabilities.
Best feature Widespread use of NAT (Network address translation) devices which allows single NAT address can mask thousands of
non-routable addresses, making end-to-end
integrity achievable.
It allows direct addressing because of vast address
Address Mask Use for the designated network from host portion. Not used.
SNMP SNMP is a protocol used for system management. SNMP does not support IPv6.
Mobility & Interoperability Relatively constrained network topologies to which move restrict mobility and interoperability capabilities. IPv6 provides interoperability and mobility
capabilities which are embedded in network devices.
Security Security is dependent on applications – IPv4 was not designed with security in mind. IPSec(Internet Protocol Security) is built into the IPv6 protocol, usable with
a proper key infrastructure.
Packet size Packet size 576 bytes required, fragmentation optional 1208 bytes required without fragmentation
Packet fragmentation Allows from routers and sending host Sending hosts only
Packet header Does not identify packet flow for QoS handling which includes checksum options. Packet head contains Flow Label field that specifies packet flow for QoS handling
DNS records Address (A) records, maps hostnames Address (AAAA) records, maps hostnames
Address configuration Manual or via DHCP Stateless address autoconfiguration using Internet Control Message Protocol version 6 (ICMPv6) or DHCPv6
IP to MAC resolution Broadcast ARP Multicast Neighbour Solicitation
Local subnet Group management Internet Group Management Protocol GMP) Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD)
Optional Fields Has Optional Fields Does not have optional fields. But Extension headers are available.
IPSec Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) concerning network security is optional Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) Concerning network security is mandatory
Dynamic host configuration Server Clients have approach DHCS (Dynamic Host Configuration server) whenever they want to connect to a network. A Client does not have to approach any such server as they are given permanent addresses.
Mapping Uses ARP(Address Resolution Protocol) to map to MAC address Uses NDP(Neighbour Discovery Protocol) to map to MAC address
Combability with mobile devices IPv4 address uses the dot-decimal notation. That’s why it is not suitable for mobile networks. IPv6 address is represented in hexadecimal, colon- separated notation.
IPv6 is better suited to mobile

IPv4 and IPv6 cannot communicate with other but can exist together on the same network. This is known as Dual Stack.

What is the Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6?

IPv4 & IPv6 are both IP addresses that are binary numbers. IPv4 is a 32-bit binary number, and IPv6 is a 128-bit binary number address. IPv4 addresses are separated by periods, while IPv6 addresses are separated by colons.

Both IP addresses are used to identify machines connected to a network. In principle, they are almost similar, but they are different in how they work.

Is IPv4 or IPv6 better?

IPv4 is the fourth version of the Internet Protocol (IP), while IPv6 is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol. Therefore, IPv6 is more advanced, secure, and faster compared to IPv4.

  • Straight Through Cables vs Crossover Cables
  • What is IP Routing? Types, Routing Table, Protocols, Commands
  • Layer 2 Switch vs Layer 3 Switch
  • Subnetting: What is Subnet Mask?
  • What is Wildcard Mask? How to Calculate Wildcard Mask