Difference Between Ipv4 And Ipv6 Speed
IPv4 vs IPv6 — What’s The Difference Between the Two …
Confused by the difference between IPv4 vs IPv6?
IP, an abbreviation for Internet Protocol, is a protocol that helps computers/devices communicate with one another over a network. As the “v” in the name suggests, there are different versions of Internet Protocol: IPv4 and IPv6.
In this post, we’ll dig into everything that you need to know to understand the difference between IPv4 and IPv6. Here’s what we’ll cover:
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What Is the Internet Protocol (IP)?
Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules that help with routing packets of data so that the data can move across networks and make it to the right destination.
When a computer tries to send information, it gets broken down into smaller chunks, called packets. In order to make sure these packets all make it to the right spot, each packet includes IP information.
The other part of the puzzle is that every device or domain on the Internet is assigned an IP address that uniquely identifies it from other devices.
This includes your own computer, which you’ve probably encountered before. If you go to one of the many “What’s My IP Address? ” tools, they’ll show you your computer’s IP address and a rough guesstimate of your location (which should be accurate unless you’re using a VPN).
The IP address that you’re most familiar with probably looks something like this:
32. 253. 431. 175
By assigning each device with an IP address, networks are able to effectively route all these packets of data around and make sure they make it to the right spot.
What Is IPv4?
Despite the “4” in the name, IPv4 is actually the first version of IP to be used. It was launched all the way back in 1983 and, even today, it’s still the most well-known version to identify devices on a network.
The IPv4 uses a 32-bit address, which is the format that you’re probably most familiar with when discussing an “IP address”. This 32-bit address space provides almost 4. 3 billion unique addresses, though some IP blocks are reserved for special uses.
Here’s an example of an IPv4 address:
What Is IPv6?
The IPv6 is a newer version of IP that uses a 128-bit address format and includes both numbers and letters. Here’s an example of an IPv6 address:
Why Did We Need a New Version of IP?
At this point, you might be wondering why IPv6 even exists.
Well, while the 4. 3 billion potential IP addresses in IPv4 might seem like a lot, we need a lot more IP addresses!
There are a lot of people in the world with a lot of devices. This is an even larger issue with the rise of IoT devices (Internet of Things) and sensors, as these greatly expand the pool of connected devices.
Put simply, the world was running out of unique IPv4 addresses, which is the biggest reason why we needed IPv6.
There are also some other more nitty-gritty technical reasons, though – let’s discuss them.
IP, short for Internet Protocol, helps computers/devices communicate over a network. This guide digs into the differences between versions IPv4 and IPv6 Click to TweetWhat Is the Difference Between IPv4 vs IPv6?
Now, let’s get into the difference between IPv4 vs IPv6.
The most obvious difference, and the most applicable for regular people, is the difference in formats:
IPv4 uses a 32-bit address
IPv6 uses a 128-address
Without getting into the math (we’ll save that for the next section), this means that IPv6 offers 1, 028 times more addresses than IPv4, which essentially solves the “running out of addresses” problem (at least for the foreseeable future).
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IPv6 is also an alphanumeric address separated by colons, while IPv4 is only numeric and separated by periods. Again, here’s an example of each:
IPv4 – 32. 175
IPv6 – 3002:0bd6:0000:0000:0000:ee00:0033:6778
There are also some technical differences between IPv4 vs IPv6, though non-developers don’t really need to know them. Some of the most notable technical differences are that:
IPv6 includes built-in Quality of Service (QoS).
IPv6 has a built-in network security layer (IPsec).
IPv6 eliminates Network Address Translation (NAT) and allows end-to-end connectivity at the IP layer.
Multicasting is part of the base specifications in IPv6, while it’s optional in IPv4. Multicasting allows for the transmission of a packet to multiple destinations in a single operation.
IPv6 has larger packet headers (about twice as large as IPv4).
How Many Addresses Are in IPv4 vs IPv6?
As we mentioned above, IPv6 supports 1, 028 times more IP addresses than IPv4.
IPv4 supports about 4. 29 billion addresses.
IPv6, on the other hand, supports…well, the easiest way to write it is 2^128 different addresses. If you’re interested in the exact number, here’s how many unique addresses IPv6 offers: 340, 282, 366, 920, 938, 463, 463, 374, 607, 431, 768, 211, 456
That means we have a long way to go before we run out of IPv6 addresses!
Is There a Difference Between IPv4 vs IPv6 Speed? Which Is Faster?
In general, there’s no major difference between IPv4 vs IPv6 speeds, though some evidence does suggest that IPv6 might be slightly faster in some situations.
On the “no difference” side, Sucuri ran a series of tests on sites that supported both IPv4 and IPv6 and found that there was basically no difference on most sites that they tested.
However, you can also find some evidence showing IPv6 to be faster. For example, Facebook’s Engineering blog stated that “We’ve observed that accessing Facebook can be 10-15 percent faster over IPv6”.
Similarly, Akamai tested a single URL on an iPhone/mobile network and saw that the site had a median load time that was 5% faster with IPv6 vs IPv4.
However, there are a lot of variables, so it’s difficult to compare performance without running tightly controlled experiments.
One reason why IPv6 might be faster is that it doesn’t waste time on Network Address Translation (NAT). However, IPv6 also has larger packet headers, so it could potentially be slower for some use cases.
Is IPv4 or IPv6 More Popular?
Though the numbers are changing as IPv6 increases its adoption, IPv4 is still the most widely-used Internet Protocol.
IPv6 adoption worldwide
Google maintains public statistics for IPv6 availability of Google users by countries around the world. These numbers are the percentage of all traffic to Google sites that is over IPv6, rather than IPv4.
Worldwide, IPv6 has around ~32% availability, but it differs greatly between countries. For example, the USA has over 41% IPv6 adoption, while the UK has around 30% adoption, and Spain has just 2. 5% adoption.
Per-Country IPv6 adoption
What Internet Protocol Version Does Kinsta Use?
If you host your WordPress site at Kinsta, you might be wondering whether Kinsta uses IPv4 or IPv6. Kinsta currently uses IPv4.
Why? Because Kinsta is powered by the Premium Tier of Google Cloud and, at this time, Google Cloud does not fully support IPv6.
With that being said, IPv6 support is on Google Cloud’s roadmap, so this might change in the future. However, there’s no official timeline for when Google Cloud will add IPv6 support.
Confused by IPv4 and IPv6? Click to see how these two Internet Protocol versions to TweetSummary
The Internet Protocol (IP) helps route data around networks. To accomplish this, each device is assigned an IP address.
IPv4 is the original version that was launched back in 1983. However, its 32-bit format only allows for ~4. 3 billion unique addresses, which can’t serve the needs of the modern world.
To address the lack of unique IPv4 addresses (and make some other technical changes), IPv6 was created. IPv6 uses a 128-bit address format that offers 1, 028 times as many unique addresses as IPv4.
For most people, that’s all you need to know – IPv6 uses a different format and offers far more unique addresses than IPv4.
Kinsta uses IPv4 because GCP, which underpins Kinsta’s infrastructure, has not rolled out IPv6 support yet. IPv6 is on Google Cloud’s roadmap so this might change in the future.
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Everything You Need to Know About IPv4 vs. IPv6
The “IP” in IPv4 and IPv6 stands for Internet Protocol, which is a set of rules that determine how devices transmit data packets across the Internet. Internet Protocol also assigns a unique address to each device on the web. These addresses ensure data packets are routed to the correct device.
What is IPv4?
IPv4 or Internet Protocol Version 4 is the most common protocol for transmitting data packets on the web. IPv4 provides both the identification (IP addresses) for each device on the Internet and the rules that govern how data packets are transmitted between those devices.
With IPv4, a typical IP address has 32 bits and is in dotted-decimal form, like this:
192. 0. 2. 235
Because there are only 232 unique hosts in this decimal format, there are only about 4. 3 billion IPv4 addresses.
What is IPv6?
There’s been a massive increase in devices connected to the Internet in the last decade—with a rise from 5 Internet devices per household to 50 Internet devices per household from 2015 to 2020. This prompted the Internet Engineering Tracking Taskforce (IETF) to create a new Internet protocol, IPv6. It was released in December 1998.
IPv6 addresses are written in hexadecimal format, like this:
The Pros of IPv4 vs. IPv6
Despite IPv6 being the newer, updated IP, there are still many advantages of IPv4.
Existing infrastructure – Most websites use IPv4, even those that also support IPv6. This makes version four a more seamless experience. That is, until most of the Internet switches to version six.
Simplicity – IPv4’s 32-bit dotted decimal is much smaller and simpler than IPv6’s hexadecimal numbers. This simplicity is easier for humans to read.
Support – Because most traffic is still using IPv4, Network operators find IPv4 familiar. They may wait until more traffic is IPv6 before they make any decisions about their own infrastructure—especially if they have enough IPv4 addresses for the near future.
The Cons of IPv4 vs. IPv6
Running short on IPv4 addresses isn’t the only con of version four.
Exhaustion of IPv4 – As we’ve covered, the world is short on IPv4 addresses. This means there’s a cost to buy IPv4 addresses, where IPv6 addresses can be had (in unimaginable quantities) for the cost of registration with a regional registry (RIR). You also pay registry costs with IPv4.
IPv6 Speed – Web and cloud services provider, Akamai, measured the speed of IPv6 vs. IPv4. They found, “Sites load 5% faster in median and 15% faster for the 95% percentile on IPv6 compared to IPv4. ”
Network Address Translation (NAT) for IPv4 – NAT allows a group of devices (usually 10-20) that share a single public IP with IPv4. This requires complex configurations like forwarding and firewall alterations. Because IPv6 has so many addresses, IPv6 devices don’t require additional configuration.
Understanding the IPv4 market
The pros of IPv4, combined with the lack of addresses, created a new marketplace. Today, companies that need IPv4 addresses can buy them through IPv4 Brokers, or a company looking to move to IPv6 can sell IPv4 addresses.
When a company needs more IP addresses, they have three options:
Buy IPv4 addresses – That’s what is here for. Companies can also sell their IPv4 addresses if they’re beginning to deploy IPv6.
Use NAT – As mentioned above, NAT allows one address to be shared among many devices. However, NAT still requires one IPv4 address (usually one per 10-20 people). This has some drawbacks, namely speed issues as packets have to transition paths.
Deploy IPv6 – A business can deploy IPv6, but this may be of limited usefulness until most traffic is also on IPv6. So, even if a business deploys IPv6, it still needs more IPv4 addresses or NAT.
There’s much debate around which is better—IPv4 or IPv6. But really, it’s about your specific needs. If you’d like more information on the differences between IPv4 vs. IPv6, or if you’re looking for help with either, please reach out to us today.
IPv4 vs. IPv6: What’s the Difference? | HideMyAss Blog
→ IPv4 vs. IPv6: What’s the Difference?
BlogPost 32098338764 IPv4 vs. IPv6: What’s the Difference?
The internet is not as modern an invention as we have been led to believe. Indeed, the first ‘internet protocol’ (or IP) was first established in the 1970s. Since then, IP addresses have been what allow computers and devices to communicate with each other over the internet. But there are actually now two versions of this protocol that exist: IPv4 and IPv6.
IPv4 is still the standard protocol for the vast majority of the internet (IPv4) and was first deployed in 1981. But what is the difference between IPv4 and IPv6? And why are we still using this same protocol 40 years later? Is it because IPv6 offers no real benefit to everyday users? Or is it simply a case of better the devil you know?
What is an IP address?
An IP address is a digital ‘location’ (that’s the address part) that allows digital devices to communicate. Without a valid IP address, computers simply wouldn’t know how to communicate over the internet because they wouldn’t know where to look.
What an IP address literally is, however, is a string of numbers that are assigned to each device. IPs can either be static or dynamic, with the former being an address that doesn’t change and the latter being an address that is more flexible. If you want to find out your own IP address (which has the potential to be either an IPv4 or IPv6 address), then it’s as simple as clicking on our IP checker. You’ll be told not only your IP address but the color of your pants too (or an educated guess, at least).
So, what is the difference between IPv4 and IPv6? IPv4 is a 32-bit numeric address whereas an IPv6 address is 128-bit and hexadecimal. There is a theoretical limit of 4. 3 billion IPv4 addresses available, which we started to run out of in the 1990s, leading to the need for IPv6.
IPv4: The old-timer
Today, almost four decades after it was first introduced, the IPv4 protocol continues to route the vast majority of internet traffic.
Ipv4 was first launched in 1981
It is a 32-bit protocol made up of four numbers ranging from 0 to 255, each separated by a period
You’ve probably seen them thousands of times without even realizing it and typically they look like this – 184. 75. 216. 21
Every website and online device has an IP address
Although that last point is true, in many ways we’ve evolved past them in the last few decades. It used to be the only way people could find their way around the internet (imagining memorizing the IP address of every site you visit), but we now use more memorable web addresses to navigate. This is thanks to the Domain Name Service (DNS), which effectively translates an IP address into a name such as
For decades, IPv4 has been a standard that’s served the internet well, but there is a (relatively) young upstart waiting in the wings ready to seize the throne.
IPv6: The upstart
Whenever a new standard is created in any industry, there is always a transition period – and when one standard has held sway for so long, that period tends to drag on. That’s what has happened with IPv6, which was first introduced around the turn of the 21st century and has spent 20 years playing catch up.
It’s telling that even 20 years ago when the internet was really in its infancy in terms of mainstream adoption, engineers were already looking at ways to push past the limitations of the 32-bit fourth-generation protocol in IPv4.
IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, allowing for a theoretical 340 undecillion addresses (that’s 36 zeros, in case you were wondering)
An IPv6 address is far more complex than IPv4, written hexadecimally and separated by colons, rather than periods
A typical, unabbreviated example of an IPv6 address might look like this — 4003:0ef4:0006:0053:0200:9d1e:0590:8145
Of course, size and variety aren’t the only reasons IPv6 is seen as ‘the future, ’ the security features are also vastly superior. However, currently only around a quarter of the top 1, 000 websites are available over IPv6. The world seems unwilling to move on yet, but in the coming years, it’s going to become more of a necessity than an option.
Why are we switching from IPv4 to IPv6?
When IPv4 was first created in the late 1970s, there were over 4 billion addresses available. That might seem like an incredible number (and it certainly was in the 1980s) but 40 years of exponential internet growth, as well a huge increase in the number of devices hooked up to the internet, later and we’ve almost run out. We’ve actually been running out of addresses since the 1990s — a phenomenon known as IPv4 address exhaustion — and that’s around the time when a new protocol became not only desirable but necessary.
Of course, nothing is stopping people from buying, selling and exchanging their IP addresses but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re down to the crumbs when it comes to new ones. Even the smartest workaround solutions are band-aids on bullet wounds at this point; IPv4 simply cannot support the load any longer and that’s why the new protocol needs to start taking its share. And that’s where the difference between IPv4 and IPv6 comes in.
IPv4 vs. IPv6
The technology behind IPv6 has several tangible and significant benefits. For starters, whereas IPv4 needs to be configured manually or via DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol), IPv6 supports autoconfiguration. This means devices can automatically generate an address as soon as they power up as long as they can find an IPv6 router.
IPv6 also supports multicast addressing, which reduces bandwidth by allowing more intensive packets to be sent to multiple destinations at the same time. For media streams (high definition video, particularly) this is a godsend. It’s also possible for IPv6 to connect to several networks simultaneously, too.
340 trillion trillion trillion addresses over 4. 3 billion IPv6 networks provide autoconfiguration capabilities Has untapped potential for triggering innovation and assisting collaboration Supports multicast addressing Can connect to several networks simultaneously
So, while there are similarities between the two, IPv6 is more flexible, more powerful and infinitely more future-proof, but is IPv6 faster and more secure than IPv4?
Which is faster: IPv4 or IPv6?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. There’s a common misconception that, just because it’s the newest protocol, IPv6 is faster than IPv4. Sure, it was built to be faster, but in real-world performance tests the results have not been quite so conclusive. In fact, one security blog ran several tests and found that both protocols delivered very similar speed results and that IPv4 actually beat the younger standard in some instances.
Granted this was back in 2016 and things might have moved on in four years, but it still proves that, because IPv6 is still in its infancy, it doesn’t yet provide enough of a definitive speed boost to warrant an immediate upgrade.
When it comes to IPv4 vs IPv6 speed, IPv6 is thought to be faster because of the lack of network-address translation (NAT). That’s because:
Carriers can’t provide unique IPv4 addresses to all subscribers (because there simply are not enough left to go around)
Instead they channel them through a NAT that uses a pool of public addresses
IPv4 traffic hitting carrier networks ends up going through multiple NATs, which can result in delays
IPv6 packets, meanwhile, can be delivered directly, which means, on paper at least, they are guaranteed to be faster
Of course, that’s not always the case in practice, particularly given the fact that IPv6 has much larger packets to send. However, as IPv6 continues to be tuned and optimized, it’s difficult to see a near future where IPv4 can compete in terms of sheer speed. For now, though, performance improvements are negligible in the vast majority of situations.
Is IPv6 safer than IPv4?
IPv6 was built with integrated safety features that IPv4 doesn’t have. When the IPv4 standard was created, there was very little in the way of cybercrime. Indeed, the term had yet to be coined — much has changed since then and anonymous browsing is now more important than ever. In contrast, IPv6 was built with the IP Security (IPSec) security protocols at its beating heart and although IPSec can be integrated into IPv4, it’s not natively supported. Instead, it’s up to each individual company to do so and most are quite content to continue using SSL.
When it comes to IPv4 vs IPv6 security, IPv6 is safer on a basic level, simply because it’s easier to hide amongst 340 undecillion possible addresses than it is 4. 3 billion. But, as with most things, it’s not quite that simple. During the transition stage between the two protocols, some experts have even stated that IPv6 users are at a security disadvantage due to the use of ‘IPv6 tunnels’ that can be targeted by hackers using packet injection and reflection attacks.
With IPv6 utilizing auto configuration, this also means that devices will be generating addresses using the unique MAC address of their devices, creating unique identifiers that can be tracked and traced by nefarious third parties. Of course, most modern operating systems will already use privacy extensions to mitigate this risk, but they can’t get rid of it entirely. That’s why so many users use either proxy servers, VPN, Tor or a combination of the three to hide their IP addresses.
All in all, the expert consensus seems mixed: IPv6 may well be more secure in the future, but it’s still relatively untested and less reliable while adoption is low. Many VPNs are as-yet incompatible with IPv6 and until those VPN providers start widely adopting IPv6, there will continue to be those who give one answer and those who give another. For now, at least, let’s say both are right.
The HMA VPN has always been at the cutting edge and whilst it isn’t yet compatible with IPv6, it keeps your IP completely hidden with the use of world-leading encryption. HMA also has one eye clearly on the future, so will almost certainly be ready when the standard finally starts to take hold on a wider scale.
So, why not get ahead of the curve and sign up today?
Is IPv4 or IPv6 better for gaming
When it comes to gaming, speed is everything and up until now, IPv4 has been more than capable of keeping gamers satisfied. However, with address depletion mounting by the day and modern games requiring more bandwidth to function, that might not be the case for much longer.
Microsoft officially recommends enabling IPv6 for optimum performance on their Xbox Live gaming service and as it’s a protocol built from the ground up for speed and security, logic would surely dictate that it’s the right route to go down for serious gamers? But Microsoft has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the online gaming world. They were the first company to launch an online console gaming service with Xbox Live, after all. It’s also true today that many Xbox gamers are smart enough to use a VPN as it’s remarkably simple to set up a VPN with your Xbox.
However, it’s up to the individual games and companies behind them whether or not to actually make the most of the advantages of the IPv6 protocol. Many high-profile games, such as World of Warcraft and EVE Online use it, but many more don’t. Whilst Microsoft appears to be sticking its head up above the pulpit on this one and Sony’s PS4 might configure itself with an IPv6 address, most games and apps don’t support transport over the protocol yet. Whether or not that will change with the upcoming PS5 remains to be seen.
Online games use the peer-to-peer model of TCP/IP and must provide provision for authentication, privacy and payments over both fixed and mobile networks. This is certainly possible over IPv6, though, as ever, it’s up to the individuals whether or not the leap is made.
Other IPv6 benefits
Improved routing effectiveness and efficiency, not to mention simplification No need for triangular routing, which means it will work better on mobile devicesMulticasting can allow one packet to be transmitted to multiple destinations at the same time IPv6 simplifies aspects of address configuration, network renumbering and router announcements It’s easy to switch to (as long as you have the requisite technology in place) Because it eliminates the need for NAT, peer-to-peer networks are easier to make and maintain, which also means services become more robust as a result IPv6 can bind a public signature key to your IP address, meaning the user can demonstrate proof of ownership for an address. This is impossible due to the space constraints of IPv4
What you need to use IPv6
IPv6 is not something that we will all be able to use just yet, it’s a protocol that requires the right groundwork in order to function. Only those that can tick the following boxes will be able to set up IPv6. Alternatively, you can head to this IPv6 test site.
1. An ISP that enables IPv6
To connect to the internet using IPv6 your ISP must enable it.
2. A router that supports IPv6
Whilst several modern home routers do support IPv6, it might be disabled by default. Check the manual of your router or contact your ISP for more information.
3. An operating system that supports IPv6
All modern OSs support IPv6, but if you’re using an older OS, such as Windows XP, will not be able to use it.
So, should I use IPv6?
The expert consensus here would appear to be a firm “maybe”. If your setup already matches all of the technical requirements then you could potentially see some performance benefits, but probably not enough to warrant investing in new hardware or changing your ISP.
Again, the answer here will depend on the individual circumstances. Ultimately, the biggest factor holding back IPv6 deployment in the vast majority of cases is cost – both in time and money. Switching to IPv6 is simple as long as you have the requisite tech in place and your service provider allows it. It could be as simple as enabling it on your computer or smart device.
But whether or not you should enable it just because you can is another question entirely and will perhaps depend largely on whether or not you are using a VPN (which you definitely should be, by the way), given the widespread current incompatibility between VPNs and IPv6.
Will IPv4 ever go away?
Legacy technologies often take a while to die off, particularly when they’ve been around for multiple decades. Currently, IPv4 happily coexists with its younger sibling. This is due to various reasons, not least of which is the fact that switching IP addresses is an inherently slow process and it’s not as if the entire internet can be switched in one fell swoop. That’s why, for the time being, it’s more of a gradual process.
For many, the cost of replacing IPv4 equipment is prohibitively expensive, not to mention incredibly disruptive. So, it’s very much a case-by-case situation where some are making the change gradually whilst others are riding the wave and waiting until the issues with IPv6 are completely ironed out until they finally retire their old hardware and take a brave, bold step into the future.
Use a VPN, whatever your protocol
No matter what protocol you’re using, it’s never been more important to utilize a VPN for all your online browsing. An IP address is more than just an address; it’s a digital fingerprint that can store an incredible amount of information about your online activity. A VPN works to essentially disguise that fingerprint by redirecting traffic and encrypting your information.
Without a VPN, it’s remarkably simple for hackers to discover not only your IP location but access your emails and even see which websites you’ve been visiting and when you’ve been visiting them. That’s why a VPN exists; to disguise your online activity from hackers.
Investing in a VPN is an incredibly small price to pay for your privacy and for your peace of mind and is just as relevant whether you’re chilling with the old-timer or busting out the upstart.
It’s not something you can afford to put off any longer and if you try the HMA VPN today, you’ll be able to enjoy a free trial period, enjoying completely anonymous browsing via one of the fastest VPNs on the market completely free of charge. Once you’ve experienced that (not to mention the other VPN benefits, such as being able to access region-free streaming content), you’ll never look back.
Frequently Asked Questions about difference between ipv4 and ipv6 speed
Which is faster IPv4 or IPv6?
IPv6 Speed – Web and cloud services provider, Akamai, measured the speed of IPv6 vs. IPv4. They found, “Sites load 5% faster in median and 15% faster for the 95% percentile on IPv6 compared to IPv4.”Aug 18, 2020
Is IPv6 faster than IPv4 for gaming?
When it comes to IPv4 vs IPv6 speed, IPv6 is thought to be faster because of the lack of network-address translation (NAT).Jul 9, 2020
Can IPv6 speed up Internet?
Without NAT, IPv6 is faster than IPv4 If your organization offers a public website or internet or mobile applications, then it is likely that your site will function faster when using IPv6 vs IPv4. … The IPv6 packets don’t pass through carrier NAT systems and instead go directly to the Internet.Jun 10, 2019