The basic difference between IPv4 and IPv6 is the standard version of the internet protocol both are supporting. Evident from the names, IPv4 is the Internet Protocol version 4 and IPv6 is the Internet Protocol version 6.
Internet Protocol, also known as IP, is the principal communications protocol that establishes the internet via transference of datagrams across network boundaries.
It is operated by two IP addresses, one is the host source and the other is the destination address. Both versions of IP principally perform the same function however, they vary in technique.
IPV4 vs IPV6
The main difference between IPV4 and IPV6 is that IPv4 is a 32bit operating scheme that supports 4 billion IP addresses whereas IPv6 is a 128bit operating scheme supporting up to 340 undecillion addresses, hence an immense upgrade from IPv4.
IPv4 is the primary internet networking protocol running 94% of the internet traffic right now however, it is coming short of IP addresses owing to the constantly increasing demand. IPv6 is developed to make for the shortage of IP addresses.
But it is not just an upgrade in a number of addresses but also in all other networking features and qualities.
Comparison Table Between IPV4 and IPV6 (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter of Comparison||IPv4||IPv6|
|Version||Fourth, first dominant||Sixth, latest most advanced|
|Addressing System||32-bit operating scheme||128-bit operating scheme|
|Address Allocation||Short; Numerical binary bits separated by dots||Long; Alphanumeric groups separated by colons|
|Addressing Type||Unicast, multicast, broadcast||Unicast, multicast, anycast|
|Addressing Limit||Addresses limited to five classes; from A to E||Unlimited IP addresses|
|Address Masking||Uses Network Access Translation (NAT) to spread routing from one to many||Does not require further spreading of addresses due to unlimited address spacing|
|Routing System||IPv4 uses RIP, Routing Information Protocol supporting routing daemon||IPv6 uses static routes|
|Network Configuration||Manual configuration or with DHCP||Automatic configuration|
|System Configuration||Newly installed system configuration is required||Based on function, configuration is optional|
|Internet Protocol Security||Does not have security privilege||Have built-in Internet Protocol Secutiry|
|Packet Size||576 bytes required||1208 bytes required|
|Packet Fragmentation||Fragmentation is optional; permitting from routers and sending hosts||Fragmentation is not required; permitting only for sending hosts|
|Local Subnet Group Management||IPv4 uses Internet Group Management Protocol (GMP)||IPv6 uses Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD)|
|MAC Address Mapping||IPv4 deploys Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) to map to MAC Address||IPv6 deploys Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP) to map to MAC Address|
|System Management||IPv4 uses Simple Network Management Protocol||IPv6 does not use Simple Network Management Protocol|
|Maintenance||Due to several overlays for internet growth, IPv4 requires regular maintenance||Auto-configuration capability decreases maintenance demands in IPv6|
What is IPV4?
IPv4 is the fourth version of the Internet Protocol, one of the first dominant standard protocol that was deployed for production in 1983 by ARPANET.
It is a 32bit operating scheme that routes internet connections via a hosting source that transfers datagrams or other data packets to destination IP addresses.
IPv4 runs on binary numerical addresses separated by a dot. Each internet connection has a unique IP address and IPv4 supports 4 billion such addresses.
IPv4 is a connectionless protocol that creates a virtual communication layer over many different types of devices. The simplicity of its bit operation requires less memory and is easier and more user friendly in function.
It is still considered the most widely used internet protocol, supporting a wide variety of devices and offers audio/video libraries, transfer of documentation and conference communication.
What is IPV6?
IPv6 is the sixth, newest version of the Internet Protocol, established by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 1994. It is a 128bit operating system that identifies the locations for internet networking on computers and directs traffic across internet networks.
IPv6 was developed to overcome the shortage of IP addresses in the previously running IPv4 and supports over 3.4×10^38 addresses. This expansion complicates the unique addressing for each internet connection device and hence IP address for IPv6 is a long alphanumeric arrangement of 8 groups separated by colons.
IPv6 is categorized addressing and routing infrastructure, running on the identification of computer locations in either stateful or stateless configuration. Its hierarchical allocation of addressing facilitates multicasting and provides additional optimization improving the quality of service.
Main Differences Between IPV4 and IPV6
- IPv4 is a 32-bit IP system whereas IPv6 is a 128-bit IP system
- IPv4 support 4 billion addresses/networks whereas IPv6 supports 340×10^38 addresses/networks
- IPv4 has 12 header field, checksum fields and supports broadcast whereas IPv6 has 8 header fields, no checksum field and does not support broadcast
- IPv4 is considered less suitable for mobile devices due to its dot-separated binary address whereas IPv6 is considered mobile-friendly due to its colon-separated hexadecimal alphanumeric address
- IPv4 was not designed with security as a key factor in mind whereas IPv6 is designed with built-in Internet Protocol Security with designated key infrastructure
- IPv4 supports Virtual Length Subnet Mask (VLSM) and is manually configured whereas IPv6 does support VLSM and is also automatically configured.
Post its upgrade to Draft Standard by IETF, in 2017, IPv6 was identified to be the Internet Standard and is envisioned to replace IPv4 universally.
Although the key purpose of the development of IPv6 was to enable widespread networking because IPv4, being used for a number of years, has limited addresses left available.
With the rapid increase in networking options and the use of the internet on all kinds of devices, the demand for IP addresses has increased exponentially over the last couple of decades.
Other than the vast expansion in the available addressing in the IPv6, it also provides hierarchical address allocation methods that are enabling route aggregation across the internet.
This method has reduced the expansion of routing tables and simplified the delivery of internet service across the world networks.
Thus a shift is required. Although the two systems are not designed to be interoperable, due to which shifting from IPv4 to IPv6 is still complex but with the advancement in internet configurations, a variety of transition methods are being developed to ease this move.
Key Differences Between IPV4 and IPV6 (PDF Format)
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