IPv4 vs IPv6 – How does the Two Protocols Differentiate?

Are you confused about IPv4 and IPv6 differences? IP is a network communication protocol that permits network communication for computers and other devices. There are two versions of Internet Protocol, as indicated by the “v” in the name: IPv4 and IPv6.

We’ll go over all you need to know about the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 in this post.

Internet Protocol (IP)

IP Protocol is a collection of rules for data packet routing over networks and destinations. The Internet Protocol (IP Protocol).

When a computer attempts to transmit data, it is split into smaller parts called packets. Each packet includes IP information to ensure that all of these packets arrive at the correct location.

The third element of the jigsaw is to supply an IP address that is different from other devices for each device or domain on the Internet.

This includes your personal PC that you undoubtedly have previously managed. You will find the IP address of your computer and a rough estimate of where you live (which is correct unless when you’re using a VPN) when you go to one of the different “what’s my IS Address?” programs.

You probably know the IP address that looks like this most:


Networks are able to properly route all of these packets of data around and ensure that they arrive at the correct location by assigning each device an IP address.

What Is IPv4?

IPv4 is the first version of IP to be used, despite the “4” in the name. It was first introduced in 1983 and is still the most widely used method for identifying network devices today.

IPv4 employs a 32-bit address, the most common format when it comes to an “IP address.” Although some IP blocks are allocated for particular purposes, this 32-bit address space contains about 4.3 billion distinct addresses.

An IPv4 address is shown below:


What Is IPv6?

IPv6 is a new IP version with a 128-bit, digital, and letter address structure. An IPv6 address is shown below:


Why did we require a new IP version?

Perhaps you question why at this moment IPv6 exists.

While IPv4 may seem to have a high 4,3 trillion possible IP addresses, we need far more!

Many people with many devices are around the globe. With the rise of IoT (Internet of Things) devices and sensors, this has become even more of a problem, since the pool of linked devices has grown significantly.

Simply put, the world’s unique IPv4 addresses were running out, necessitating the adoption of IPv6.

But there are also other, more technical aspects to consider — let’s talk about them.

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What Is the Difference Between IPv4 vs IPv6?

IPv4 vs IPv6

Now, consider the IPv4 and IPv6 differences.

The most evident distinction, and the one that most affects ordinary people, is the difference in formats:

  • IPv4 uses a 32-bit address
  • IPv6 uses a 128-address

Without going into the arithmetic (which we’ll keep for the next section), this means that IPv6 has 1,028 times the number of addresses as IPv4, therefore eliminating the “running out of addresses” issue (at least for the foreseeable future).

IPv6 addresses are also alphanumeric and colon-specific, while IPv4 addresses are merely numeric. This is another example of each of them.:

  • IPv4 – 32.253.431.175
  • IPv6 – 3002:0bd6:0000:0000:0000:ee00:0033:6778

There are some technical differences between IPv4 and IPv6, but they aren’t necessary for non-developers to understand. The following are some of the most prominent technical differences:

  • IPv6 includes built-in Quality of Service (QoS).
  • IPv6 has a security layer included in the network (IPsec).
  • IPv6 removes Network Address Translation (NATs) and allows IP Layer end-to-end connectivity.
  • Multicast is part of the IPv6 baseline, whereas IPv4 is optional. Multicasting allows packets to be transmitted in a single transaction to numerous locations.
  • The IPv6 packet header is larger (about twice as large as IPv4).

How Many Addresses Are in IPv4 vs IPv6?

IPv6 supports 1.028 times more IP than IPv4 as we have discussed above.

Around 4.29 billion addresses can be used for IPv4.

IPv6, on the other hand, supports… well, 2^128 different addresses are the easiest way to write. Here is how many unique IPv6 addresses you are interested in the precise quantity: 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456

That means we have a long way to go before we run out of IPv6 addresses!

Does IPv4 versus IPv6 speed differ in this respect? What’s quicker?

There is usually no substantial speed difference between IPv4 and IPv6, although there is some evidence to suggest that under certain situations, IPv6 may be somewhat faster.

On the “no change” side, Sucuri did a series of tests on sites that supported both IPv4 and IPv6 and discovered that most of the sites they examined had little difference.

However, there is some evidence to suggest that IPv6 is faster. “We’ve discovered that accessing Facebook can be 10-15 percent faster using IPv6,” according to Facebook’s engineering blog.

Likewise, the Akamai URL was tested via the mobile network and found, in terms of median load time, that IPv6 was 5% faster than IPv4.

But since there are so many elements, it is hard to compare performance without thoroughly controlled testing.

One rationale for IPv6 is that the translation of the network address is no longer necessary (NAT). Since IPv6 contains bigger packet headers, however, in certain scenarios it can be slower.

Is IPv4 or IPv6 More Popular?

Although the numbers are shifting with the growing adoption of IPv6, IPv4 is still the Internet protocol most widely used.

Google keeps track of IPv6 availability for Google users in different countries across the world. These figures represent the percentage of all Google site traffic that is delivered through IPv6, rather than IPv4.

IPv4 vs IPv6

IPv6 availability is roughly 32% worldwide, but it varies widely between nations. For example, the United States has over 41% IPv6 adoption, while the United Kingdom has roughly 30% and Spain has around 2.5 percent.

IPv4 vs IPv6


The Internet Protocol (IP) is a protocol that aids in the routing of data between networks. Each device is given an IP address in order to accomplish this.

IPv4 is the first version, which was released in 1983. However, the 32-bit format only allows for 4.3 billion distinct addresses, which is insufficient for today’s demands.

IPv6 was established to solve the scarcity of unique IPv4 addresses (along with several other technical modifications). IPv6 employs a 128-bit address format, which provides 1,028 times the number of unique addresses as IPv4.

For the most part, that’s all you need to know about IPv6 — it has a different format and many more unique addresses than IPv4 does.