IPv4 vs IPv6 – What Are Similarities and Differences?
Internet Protocol or IP is designed to create a worldwide network to connect every computer to each other. OSI reference model creates a model where different protocols and networks can be defined and IP is used for the
Network layer. There are two main versions of the IP protocol named
IPv6. We will compare these IPv4 and IPv6 in this tutorial in detail.
Internet Protocol v4 or IPv4
Internet Protocol version 4 or IPv4 is created to connect multiple networks and hosts together in a standard way. IPv4 is generally named
IP because of its popularity and the rare usage of the IPv6. IPv4 is standardized with the RFC 791 in 1981. The main idea behind the IPv4 was creating a packet-switched network with consistent addressing. IP addressed are used to address and identify the hosts and networks. We use IP addresses like
18.104.22.168 to access remote hosts and services like modem interface, Google DNS, etc.
IPv4 uses 32 bit for address space. With 32 bit 4.3 billion addresses can be defined which seem very high but in practice very little. Example IPv4 address can be like below.
Internet Protocol v6 or IPv6
IPv4 was so popular which resulted on the internet. The world is connected via the internet by using IPv4. IPv4 uses the IP address to address every host and network on the internet. With the popularity of the internet, all the IPv4 IP addresses will be consumed completely. Internet requires new IP address where it needs more address space. IPv6 mainly designed to extend the IPv4 from different points like performance, IP address count. IPv6 is standards are defined with a lot of different RFC’s. But the first RFC’s are published in 1995 with number 1809, 1881, 1883, etc.
IPv6 uses 128 bit for addressing. With the 128 bit, 3.4×10^38 addresses can be specified. This address count is enough for a long time to address everything in the world. Example IPv6 address can be like below.
Similarities For IPv4 and IPv6
In this part, we will list the similarities of the IPv4 and IPv6.
- Both support manual IP assignment.
- Both can provide security features inbuilt or optionally.
- Both have the Packet Header part.
- Both can transmit fragmented packets.
- Both can have broadcasting, multicasting related features.
Differences For IPv4 and IPv6
Well, there are a lot of differences between IPV4 and IPv6 even IPv6 is the successor of the IPV4. Here we will list the differences IPv4 and IPv6.
- IPv4 has 32-bit address space where IPv6 has 128-bit address space
- IPv4 can provide 4.29×10^9 address where IPv6 can provide 3.4×10^38 addresses
- IPv4 supports DHCP Address configuration where IPv6 supports auto and renumbering address configuration
- IPv4 does not provide end to end connection integrity where IPv6 can provide end to end connection integrity
- IPv4 provides optional security features where IPv6 inbuilt IPSEC security
- IPv4 addresses are represented as decimal like 192.168.1.1 where IPv6 addresses represented as hexadecimal like 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334
- IPv4 packet fragmentation can be done by sender or routers where IPv6 only sender can fragment the IP packet
- IPv4 does not have packet identification whee IPv6 has packet identification and flow label can be used
- IPv4 has checksum field for packet integrity where IPv6 does not have a checksum field
- IPv4 supports broadcast transmission where IPv6 supports multicast and anycast transmission
- IPv4 has optional IPSEC for authentication and encryption where IPv6 provides built-in authentication and encryption
- Ipv4 has 12 Header fields where IPv6 has 8 Header fields
- IPv4 header fields total size is 20 byte where IPv6 header fields size is 40 byte
- IPv4 has IP address classes like A, B, C, D, E where IPv6 does not have IP address classes
- IPv4 supports Virtual Length Subnet Mask(VLSM) where IPv6 does not support VLSM because it does not require it
- IPv4 is supported by the RIP routing protocol where IPv6 is not supported by the RIP instead static routing is used
- IPv4 generally requires Network Address Translation (NAT) for routing where IPv6 does not require NAT because vast of address space
- IPv4 requires Address Mask in order to access Gateway where IPv6 does not require Address Mask to access Gateway
- IPv4 does support by SNMP protocol where IPv6 does not support by SNMP
- IPv4 uses DNS A records to map the IP address to domain name where IPv6 uses AAAA DNS records to map the IP address to a domain name
- IPv4 uses Broadcast ARP for IP to MAC resolution where IPv6 uses Multicast Neighbour Solicitation for IP to MAC resolution
- IPv4 has optional header fields where IPv6 do not have optional fields but has extensions
Advantages of IPv4
IPv4 is the most used IP version and provides some advantages with its usage percentage like below.
- The familiarity between network professionals and administrators
- Easy configuration with the less complex IP address structure
- Supported by all of the devices by default
- Well tested for a long time
Advantages of IPv6
Although there are some difficulties to use IPv6 there are also some advantages to use IPv6 too.
- More efficiency and performance with less fragmentation
- Big address spaces which are far more than the current requirement
- No need to the NAT with the extended IP address space
- Network layer security is builtin
- Stateless IP address auto-configuration for simple and easier network administration
We will use the
Network and Sharing Center in order to disable IPv6. First, we will open the
Control Panel from the start menu by searching Control Panel.
In the Control Panel, we will open the
Network and Sharing Center like below.
In the following screen, the network interfaces will be listed those can be more than one. In this example, we will click to the
Ethernet0 in order to manage this interface configuration.
Ethernet0 Status screen we will open the
Properties windows by clicking it.
Ethernet0 Properties screen we will see some modules and features enabled and disabled. IPv6 is also a feature which can be enabled and disabled. We just uncheck
Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IP6) which will unload this module and disable IPv6 on this network interface.