The Difference of IPv4 and IPv6: 9 Main Indicators to Acknowledge

Both IPv4 and IPv6 refer to the system or the protocol of internet addressing. Sure, as the newer one, IPv6 comes with more advantages compared with its predecessor, IPv4. As information, IPv4 and IPv6 themselves stand for Internet Protocol versions 4 and 6. Internet protocol itself is defined as the address or the location of your internet service. It consists of a group of numerical codes that can be tracked when there is an urgent situation.

Main Difference of IPv4 and IPv6

As IPv6 is an upgraded version of IPv4, those 2 protocols have differences based on some indicators. So, what are the indicators and the differences? Here they are.

1. Routing

The first difference is placed on the route or the routing system. In IPv4, the routing performance tends to be decreased along with the expansion of the table. How can it be like that? It is because of the checking process of the MTU header in every route as well as the hop switch. On the other hand, the routing process is much more efficient in IPv6. Therefore, the latest protocol has a better capability in managing the bigger routing table.

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2. The Number of Addresses

Some features are available in both protocols. In IPv4, the number of addresses uses up to only 32 bytes. Consequently, the number of unique addresses is limited. Well, it is only around 4 billion used by so many people. Currently, it is still okay to have IPv4 but it may not be relevant later by remembering that internet users are rapidly growing up.

The significant improvement is seen in IPv6 in which it uses 128 bytes. Sure, it means that the number of addresses to support is getting even up to 10^38. Not only now, but this type of internet protocol seems to be effective to use in the future. It is not exaggerated to say that IPv6 is the future of our internet protocol.

3. Security

In terms of security both protocols apply the same feature, it is IPsec. Therefore, the performance is relatively the same. The difference is placed at the importance of IPsec in them. In IPv4, IPsec is only the added feature. Well, although it is said to be the selected one. In IPv4, IPsec is developed along with the protocol itself. Some improvements are given here and there and it becomes one of the primary features in the IPv6’s standard of implementation. More than that, the security aspects are generally more integrated.

4. Mobility

IPv4 supports only limited mobility because of roaming. It is particularly when moving from one network to another. The lack of IPv4 is then fixed by the IPv6 version in which it supports higher mobility although there is roaming from one network to another. It is by keeping the continuity of connection. In addition, the feature also supports the development of apps.

5. Header

For headers, it is not the functions or features that are different between IPv4 and IPv6 but the size. Does size matter? In this internet protocol issue, the answer is yes. The header of IPv4 is 20 octet plus some header options. For the header options, the size is varied. IPv6 improves its size to 40 octets. This way, some other tools can be added and modified including Identification, Fragment Offset, and Padding. The more tools the protocol has, it is getting more multifunctional to meet the customers’ needs.

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6. Header Checksum

Header Checksum is a tool of the header that is available in both IPv4 and IPv6. But they are slightly different. In IPv4, the header checksum is checked and controlled by every switch. The switch itself refers to a device placed on the third layer. Consequently, it adds the delay that makes the internet connection get slower. While in IPv6, the checksum process is not done on the header level but through a method namely end-to-end. This makes the header guarantees the protocol security.

7. Configuration

A more modern configuration can be seen in IPv6. This point makes this protocol much better than IPv4. Yes, in IPv4, the configuration still works manually when a host is connected to a certain network. On the other hand, IPv6 has applied an automatic configuration. Yes, when a host is connected to a network, it happens automatically using a feature namely stateless auto configuration.

8. Fragmentation

Fragmentation in IPv4 happens in every hop that slows down the router performance. This way, the process takes a really long time. It is even getting longer and slower when the size of data is beyond the maximum transmission unit, known also as MTU. The data must be divided first before it is re-unified in the destination.

IPv6 makes the fragmentation process work more simply. The process is only done by a host that sends the data. Besides, there is also an MTU discovery feature that determines a more accurate fragmentation to fit the small MTU value.

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9. Quality of the Service

The most important thing is about the quality of the service. Every customer must want to get the best service from the provider he or she chooses. In IPv6, some quality improvements are seen particularly in terms of the mechanism. Yes, IPv4 uses the best effort mechanism that cannot distinguish the client or the customer’s needs.

On the other hand, IPv6 uses the best level of effort mechanism that pays attention to the service quality. It applies a feature namely the header traffic class to determine the priority of the data sending process based on the speed of the level of latency. The higher the need the customer wants, the data sending process is getting faster for sure.

From the explanation above, it is clear that IPv6 is much better in all aspects than IPv4. Sure, it is reasonable. As the latest version, IPv6 must provide some improvements and upgrades that have not yet been available in the previous version.

So, which one is between them to choose? Of course, as a smart client, you should choose IPv6 for a better service. Indeed, to get it you must pay more expensively as well. But as long as it is more beneficial and satisfying, the price may not be a big deal.

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