It would be impossible to find someone who does not use the internet nowadays. And if you use the internet, you might have heard about IP addresses.
As of 2023, we are into the 6th version of the IP address protocol which is called IPv6. IPv6 was launched almost 2 decades back.
But still, many people do not use iPv6. Does that mean IPv6 is bad?
Let’s find out the answer and figure out the Difference Between IPv4 And IPv6 in this article.
What Is An IP Address?
The full form of IP is Internet Protocol. An IP address is nothing but an array of numbers assigned to a device to communicate with another device over the internet.
It’s a technical format and addressing scheme to address a device connected to the internet.
Let’s take a simple example. You have a phone, you have inserted 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 to the internet world. Without an IP address, you can not communicate with other devices over the internet world.
Every IP address follows some standards, which are reflected in different IP versions (IPV). At present, we are using IP version 4 ( IPv4) and IP version 6 ( IPv6)
What Is My IP?
To check your IP on a Windows OS computer, you can type cmd in the search bar and go to the command prompt window. There you have to type in the following command to see your IP address.
Types Of IP Addresses
There are four types of IP addresses.
- Private IP
- Public IP
- Static IP
- Dynamic IP
A private IP address is for communicating inside a network. It is the IP address that a router gives to all devices that are connected to it.
A public IP address can be accessed directly over the internet and assigned to your network router by your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A static IP address is manually created and does not change.
However, Dynamic IP addresses are assigned by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and are subject to change after a certain period of time. Once the dynamic IP is expired, you have to request a new IP.
What Is A Domain Name?
We 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 its IP address. But, is it possible to memorize trillions of IP addresses?
No. It’s not possible. That’s why we use domain names that are easy to remember. Like how we save phone numbers with names, Domain name saves the IP address.
When you browse a website ( Domain name), you are basically 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 numbers separated by periods. Each number can be between 0 to 255. A sample IPv4 address is shown below.
Since IPv4 follows a 32-bit numeric system so there can be approximately 4.3 billion unique IPv4 addresses.
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 it can have approximately 3.4×1038 unique IPv6 addresses.
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 addresses. The number is less if you compare the total number of internet users. But still, we get a unique IPv4 address.
It’s because not every device over the internet is allocated a unique IP address. Instead, the router gets a unique IP address, and 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 can do that. The reason being Ipv6 has almost infinite numbers to allocate.
Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6
Apart from unlimited unique IP addresses in IPv6, there are some differences between IPv4 and IPv6 as mentioned below.
End to End Connectivity
Since all devices will get a unique IP address, end-to-end connections are possible in IPv6. Presently only routers get IP addresses in IPv4, and all devices connected to that router share the same IP address.
No Geographical Monopoly
50% of IP addresses are owned by the United States when it was launched. IPv6 does not favor any country and will be available across a wider geographical periphery.
IPv6 is considered more secure due to the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) compared to IPv6. Firewall configuration and other security measures are improved in IPv6.
Every device gets an IP address, so auto-configuration is possible. For every device, the IPv6 address is generated from the machine address which is unique to every device.
Why IPv6 Is Still Not Popular?
Well, apart from offering almost unlimited unique IP addresses, IPv6 does not offer any deal-breaker features . That is why IPv6 is still not that popular. Here are some of the other reasons.
- 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 use IPv4, then you can’t access that website.
- IPv6 does not support VPNs. If you try to access a website on IPv6 through VPN, 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 in IPv6 until there is a need.
Conclusion: The difference Between iPV6 and iPV4
The trend is changing nowadays and more web hosts started supporting IPv6. Since IPv6 does not offer direct significant benefits, users are still not ready to move. Hopefully, IPv6 will come out of its drawbacks which 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 write in the comment section and I will be happy to answer.
Here is a nice video explaining the differences between IPv4 and IPv6.
FAQ | Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6
Is IPv6 Better Than IPv4?
Yes, IPv6 is marginally better than IPv4 as it offers end-to-end connections, better security, automatic configurations, and better speed.
Can I Use IPv4 And IPv6 At The Same Time?
With the dual-stack solution, most networking devices, servers, switches, routers, and firewalls in an ISP’s network will be configured with both IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity capabilities.
Dual-stack technology allows ISPs to process IPv4 and IPv6 data traffic simultaneously.