What are-IPv4-and-IPv6

Difference Between IPv4 & IPv6 [Complete Guide]

Have you ever heard of IPv4 or IPv6? It is an underlying technology that runs Internet Protocol Addresses. Yes, it is IP address. Let’s see the detailed guide on What are IPv4 and Ipv6.

What is IP Address?

Internet Protocol Address is known as IP Address. It is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses IP for communication. An IP address serves as an identifier for a specific machine on a particular network. The IP address is also known as IP number and Internet address. Specifies the technical format of the IP address addressing and packet scheme. Most networks combine IP with a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). It also allows for the development of a virtual connection between a destination and a source.

What are Internet Protocol Versions:

There are currently two versions of Internet Protocol. And they are IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 has been associated with the beginning of the Internet and is going to end very soon. Which is now a matter of concern.

IPv6 is an evolutionary upgrade in the technology of Internet Protocol. In extreme circumstances where IPv6 is in high demand, for some time IPv6 will coexist with the old IPv4.

Both are used to identify the machines connected to the network. In principle, both IPv4 and IPv6 are the same, but the way IPv4 and IPv6 work are different.

Also Read: What is Domain Name? Top Domain Registration Providers List

What is IPv4 vs Ipv6:


The full name of IPv4 is internet protocol version 4, it is the fourth version of the internet protocol. It is a connectionless protocol that is used in packet-switched layer networks (eg:- Ethernet). IPv4 was developed in 1981.

It is used to deliver data packets in the network from the host device to the destination device. Apart from this, it is used to identify devices in a network.

The IP address is 32 bits in IPv4. It is divided into 4 blocks of 8 bits. Below is an example of IPv4.

Example –

IPv4 is still used in many devices nowadays. But today’s devices support both IPv4 and IPv6. But as the Internet is growing, it is being speculated that gradually all IPv4 addresses will be eliminated because they are being used in all the devices today such as computers, smartphones, and game consoles, and all these devices are connected to the Internet. An address is required to connect together.


The full name of IPv6 is internet protocol version 6. This is the latest version of the Internet Protocol (IP) and has more advanced features than IPv4. It was developed by IETF (internet engineering task force) in 1998.

The size of IPv6 is 128 bits and it will work in place of IPv4 in the future. At this time it works in conjunction with IPv4. An example of IPv6 is given below.

Example – 2001:0ab8:0000:0000:0000:fb00:0042:2080

IPv6 is also known as the “next generation” Internet standard and was under development since the mid-1990s. IPv6 was created because people felt that the way demand for IP addresses is increasing, then the day is not far when IP addresses will be completely exhausted.

Although, IPv6 will help a lot in increasing the pool of addresses and there is more discussion among people about it. But, with it, there are many more such technological changes in IPv6 so the IP protocol is more important.

Difference Between IPv4 vs IPv6:

Standard Basis IPv4 IPv6
Size of IP address 32-Bit  128 Bit
Addressing method IPv4 is a numeric address. Dot (.) can seprates its binary bits. IPv6 is an alphanumeric address. Also, it contains hexadecimal. Colon (:) seprates its binary bits.
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 (Virtual 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 Manually Configuration 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 Space.
Address Mask Use for the designated network from host portion. Not used.
SNMP SNMP Protocol Supported. 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.
Security Dependent on Applications 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
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 uses hexadecimal, colon- separated notation. IPv6 is better for mobile networks.


But as the Internet is growing, it is being speculated that gradually all IPv4 addresses will be eliminated because they are being used in all the devices today such as computers, smartphones, and game consoles, and all these devices are connected to the Internet. An address is required to connect together.

In the beginning, they may not make much impact on our life. Because nowadays almost all modern devices and operating systems actually support IPv6. But there are still many such routers and servers that do not support IPv6 so it is very difficult to connect to the device and the Internet.

IPv6 is still in its early stages, in which there are many bugs and security issues. And in order to function properly, these problems have to be fixed, otherwise, there may be a big problem in the future.

No one has any idea about the cost and time involved in this change, but scientists say that this change may take some more time.




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