All in one: IPv4 and IPv6 Differences Explained

It all gets geeky with this one, recently the news came in that IPv4 are getting exhausted as more and more users join the internet and this has led to a new more sophisticated standard of IP addressing the IPv6 or Internet Protocol Version 6.

What exactly is IP and how does it affect me?

IP address or Internet Protocol address, is a Unique Identification number given to everyone on the internet. It is useful in routing information on the internet. The format of an IPv4 address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by a period. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, could be an IP address. It has 2³² addresses were available or just over four billion, possible addresses. Over time, however, it has become evident that more addresses than this will be required to ensure ongoing growth of the Internet. On 3 February 2011, the IANA allocated the final five /8s of IPv4 address space to the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). If you want to learn more about IP addresses Click here.

What is the Alternative to IPv4

IPv6 is not an alternative but a succeder to IPv4, it can handle more address very efficiently, it has 128-bit addressing as compared to the 32-bit addressing for the IPv4 has doubled the octets that IPv4 has ie. 8 and is hexa-decimal, so it has numbers and alphabets as well This is how a IPv6 looks like 2001:odb8:3end:0012:0000:0031:1234:45ab, see the difference, and yeah, each octet is separated by a : [colon] instead of a .[period]


Ok, enough of knowledge sharing, here are the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 as promised

Uses 32-bit IP address, or about 4 bytes Uses 128-bit IP address, or about 16 bytes
Provides (4,294,967,296) a large number of which is used for specific purposes such as Private IP, Multicast etc. Provides (340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374 607,431,768,211,456) IPs This means that each one of us will receive 5 × 1028 IP only
Broadcast is used to Flood all devices on the network. No Broadcast in Network has been replaced by IP Multicast to Flood all devices on the network which is FF02:: 1
The Header contains a special field for Checksum There are no Checksum field in the Header (Removed) and will rely with other Checksum located on the Link Layer or in the other upper layers to any TCP, UDP, etc..
manually configuration or through DHCP Server You don’t need any special options to configuration Automatic IP address Generation can work with and without DHCP server
No support provided to save bandwidth or increase speed Provides a new transfer technology know as Anycast which provides greater speed in the transport, saving bandwidth
The Header contains a special field for Option Removed the Option field from Header with the provision of extension headers That gives you more space in the case of some of the options that should be added
Uses ARP Protocol to discover IP Address from MAC Address Arrested ARP and replaced with Multicast Neighbor Solicitation
Uses IGMP Protocol Special for Multicast Group Uses MLD Protocol Special for Multicast Group
IPsec Property is within the Header in the Opinion field. and requires to configure the parties to work through IP security (IPSec) is built into IPv6 Header
The Header contains a special field for Fragmentation managed by the sender or Routers Removed the Fragmentation field from Header and attached to the extension headers managed by the sender only
packet header does not have a Flow Label field the QoS process through the router IPv6 packet header has added a field called Flow Label for enhancing the QoS capabilities
Routers do not support packet fragmentation. Sending host fragments packets. Routers do not support packet fragmentation. Sending host fragments packets
Must support a 576-byte packet size (possibly fragmented). Must support a 1280-byte packet size (without fragmentation).

We jotted down almost all the main difference between IPv4 and IPv6 in the above table

If you guys think we’ve missed some points here, feel free to share it in the comments and we will be more than happy to add it, let’s make this article a one-stop page for IPv4 and IPv6 facts

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The DNetWorks Team