Everyone knows that every machine connected to the internet has a unique address, and it’s called an IP address or IP for short. And since the evolution of the Internet in the early 80s, we have been using IPv4 or Internet Protocol version 4 to assign unique addresses to each computer on the Internet.
Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6
In this article, I will tell you some of the basics which can be easy to understand. Before telling the difference between IPv4 and IPv6, we need to know some of the basics of IPv4. And finally, I will tell you the difference between these two at the primary level.
To start, let’s check our computer’s IP address – it looks like this: 127.128.165.255.
Looking at it for the first time doesn’t make sense, but in fact it does for all routers doing the processing.
And here’s how:
The IP address 127.128.165.255 is equal to 0111111100000001010010111111111.
If you count the number of bits, it is 32. Therefore, any IPv4 address is 32 bits long.
How is the conversion done?
The 32-bit 0111111100000001010010111111111 is divided into four chunks, each of 8 bits.
It thus becomes 01111111-10000000-10100101-11111111.
When each 8-bit block is converted to decimal and separated by a period (.), it becomes 127.128.165.255. The last possible address on IPv4 is 255.255.255.255.
Now, when assigning each computer a unique IP address, the possible numbers are two equal power 32 around 4.29 billion. Therefore, only 4.29 billion people on earth will be using the internet at that time. However, there are already 5.5 billion mobile phones! In this way, this addressing system begins to wear out. IPv6 or Internet Protocol version 6 was introduced to overcome this.
Introduction to IPv6
IPv6 is a 128-bit long address called the successor of IPv4 and is deployed to upgrade the Internet Protocol. As we have seen, IPv4 is separated by a period after three intervals. In the case of 128-bit IPv6, the separation is done using colons (:).
An IPv6 address looks like this: 3aae:1901:4545:3000:200a:fff:fe21:6741
The total number of possible addresses using IPv6 is so large that every machine, including telephones, computers, refrigerators, ovens, etc., can now have a unique address.
Related : What you need to know before buying a used laptop
To check if you are already on IPv6, Click here.
You may also be interested in this article on Enable or Disable IPv6 to Troubleshoot Internet Connectivity Issues in Windows.
Is IPv4 or IPv6 better?
IPV6 offers better end-to-end, multicast, and anycast connectivity capabilities than IPv4. It has also been tested that sites using IPv6 load faster than those using IPv4. And since we run out of IPv4, everyone will soon have to switch to IPv6. Once everyone has done that, we’ll see all the advanced features.
Will IPv6 make my internet faster?
Although faster, IPv6 carries a lot more data, which can slow things down in some cases. As IPv6 becomes more common, the stack will be optimized and things will improve.