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What’s the difference between IPv4 and IPv6?

The Internet Protocol (IP) is the foundation of the internet. It’s a group of technical standards that enable devices to communicate with each other over a network. The two most commonly used versions of IP are IPv4 and IPv6. While both are essential for the smooth operation of any network, there are some key differences between them. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what makes these protocols different and why it matters for your business.





What is IPv4?

IPv4 is the fourth version of the Internet Protocol (IP). It is the most widely used version of IP and provides the basis for most of the Internet's addressing and routing systems. IPv4 uses a 32-bit address format, which allows for a total of 4,294,967,296 unique addresses.

What is IPv6?

IPv6 is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol, which is the protocol that governs how devices communicate over a network. IPv6 was developed to address the shortcomings of IPv4, which is the previous version of the protocol. One of the major deficiencies of IPv4 was its lack of address space; with only 4 billion addresses available, it was clear that IPv4 would eventually run out of addresses. IPv6 expands the address space to 128 bits, which gives it virtually limitless capacity. Additionally, IPv6 includes improvements in security and efficiency.

The differences between IPv4 and IPv6

IPv4 and IPv6 are the two versions of Internet Protocol (IP) currently in use. IPv4 is the older of the two, and it uses a 32-bit address. This means that there are only 4,294,967,296 (2^32) unique addresses that can be assigned using IPv4. In contrast, IPv6 uses a 128-bit address, which means that there are 2^128 (3.4×10^38) unique addresses that can be assigned using IPv6. The primary difference between IPv4 and IPv6 is the number of addresses that each one can support. Because IPv6 has such a large number of addresses, it is sometimes referred to as "IPng" (for "IP next generation"). Another difference between the two is the way in which they are represented: while IPv4 addresses are typically represented in decimal notation (e.g., 192.0.2.1), IPv6 addresses are usually represented in hexadecimal notation (e.g., 2001:db8::1). One more notable difference between these two versions of IP is that while all devices on an IPv4 network must have a unique IP address, this is not the case for IPv6 networks. Devices on an IPv6 network can communicate with each other without having unique IP addresses; instead, they can use link-local unicast addressing or multicast addressing.

Why do we need IPv6?

We need IPv6 because the world is running out of IP addresses. IPv4 only has about 4.3 billion unique addresses, but the world's population is over 7 billion and growing. By switching to IPv6, which has a virtually unlimited supply of IP addresses, we can make sure that everyone who needs an Internet connection can have one. In addition, IPv6 is more efficient than IPv4 and can handle more traffic. It also supports new features that will make the Internet faster and more secure.

How to get started with IPv6

If you're just getting started with IPv6, there are a few things you need to know. First, IPv6 is a new version of the Internet Protocol (IP), which is the standard that defines how computers communicate over networks. IPv6 was developed to address the problem of IP address exhaustion. With IPv6, every device on the Internet can have its own unique IP address. Second, you'll need to make sure your devices and network are compatible with IPv6. Many devices and networks are still using the older IPv4 protocol, so you'll need to check with your manufacturer or service provider to see if they offer support for IPv6. Finally, once you have everything set up and running, you'll need to configure your devices to use IPv6 addresses. This process will vary depending on your operating system and router, but there are plenty of resources available online to help you get started.

Conclusion

IPv4 and IPv6 are two different versions of the Internet Protocol (IP) used to identify devices on a network. While IPv4 is still widely used in many areas, IPv6 has become increasingly popular as its increased address space offers more efficient routing and better security. Understanding the differences between these protocols can be helpful for understanding how web content is delivered over networks, what resources each protocol uses, and why it's important to migrate from one to the other.

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