What is the Difference Between IPV4 and IPV6?

By  //  October 30, 2021

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Did you know that the computers you use, whether it’s the one you use in the office or the one at home, have their addresses? This address, called IP address, allows the location of all PCs that connect to the Internet and secure networks. These IP Internet Protocols were created to facilitate the connection of several computers on the same server via a network such as WiFi, Ethernet.

What is IP (Internet Protocol)?

In terms of IP address, there are two very distinct types, IPv4 and IPv6, as shown below:

The IPv4 IP address is decimal coded over 4 bytes, each of which can have a number between 0 and 255. The IPv4 IP address is the protocol we use today. This is what allows more than 4 billion machines to be connected to a network simultaneously.

IPv6- Internet Protocol version 6 is intended to replace the previous version (IPv4), which carries 75% of the total Internet traffic as of 2018 (Source: Google IPv6 Stats). The IPv6 address is 128 bits (16 bytes) and uses 32 hexadecimal digits, while these digits are further divided into eight groups of four digits each for ease of management.

On the other hand, this type of Internet Protocol is relatively new compared to IPv4. It is an improved version of IPv4. It is no longer coded in decimal is 4 bytes, but in hexadecimal on 16 bytes including 8 parts such that each part is on 2 bytes.

The difference between IPv6 and IPv4

To guarantee data exchange and remote communication, several protocols, including IP, are deployed. The role of the IP address is to permit the recognition of each piece of equipment of the computer that is linked to a network and make accessible the routing of data packets on the Internet.

The one that is currently in vogue is IPV4, and it is moreover it that has been deployed the most. On the other hand, only in a few years, the IPV4 addresses will be fully allocated. It is precisely in order not to face a disruption problem that a new protocol has emerged: IPv6.

 Address space size- IPv6 has a larger address space size than that IPv4. If IPV4 uses a 32-bit address, version 6 uses a 128-bit address. Indeed, it has 16 bytes in hexadecimal format separated by a colon. Unlike version 4, which only matches 4.3 billion unique IP addresses, this new version covers up to 340 sextillion unique addresses.

■ A number of IP addresses- That of IPv6 is much more numerous compared to that of IPv4. This is what makes it possible to develop an even more extensive network. The IPv4 address was created in 1981, and its size is 32 bits. As for IPv6, it was created in 1990, and its size is 128 bits.

■ Auto-configuration of addresses- With IPV6, auto-configuration of addresses is possible. If there is one problem that has the deployment of IPv4 networks, it is the configuration. With IPv6, this problem is solved. Indeed, this new version of IP gives each device the ability to determine its address. Manual configuration is no longer necessary in this case. Better still, network configuration is more straightforward. To know where is my IP located, you have to rely on stateless auto configuration. It is also faster.

Other different technical details- For developers, it should be noted that some technical details have changed from IPv4 to IPv6. Remember that version 6:

Includes built-in quality of service (QoS);

Also, it has an integrated network security layer (IPsec);

The packet headers are also larger.

The transition from IPv4 to IPv6

This transition is aimed at the gradual replacement of the IPv4 protocol by IPv6 on the Internet. Since the two addresses are not compatible, communication between hosts with an IPv6 address and another using IPv4 is impossible.

There are two very distinct approaches to allow the exchange between the two, the double stack and the protocol translators.

Conclusion: Being human beings, we identify and communicate with each other using our names. Likewise, in the computing world, devices use IP addresses to identify and interact with each other.