Difference Between IPv4 and IPv6


Main Difference

IPv4 and IPv6 are type of internet protocol that is a set of technical rules usually defines how computer connects and communicates over a network. Both IPv6 and IPv6 are the current to version of internet protocol. The main difference between these two IPs is the number of IP addresses and the address size of IPv4 is 32-bit number while of IPv6 is 128-bit number.

What is IPv4?

IPv4 or the Internet Protocol Version 4 is the fourth version of internet protocol (IP), and routes a larger traffic on internet today. It is the predecessor of IPv6. IPv4 is a connectionless protocol for use on packet-switched networks. IPv4 uses a 32-bit number address scheme allowing for total of 23 that reached to 4,294,967,296. As the addresses were allotted to the users and the number of addresses remained unallocated decreased. IPV4 was deployed in 1981 and prefix notation is It was designed in that era when the modern world of multiple devices was not even fathomable.


What is IPv6?

IPv6 or the Internet Protocol Version 6 is the most recent version of internet protocol and routes a larger number of traffic on internet today as compare to IPv4. It was developed by the internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) on 1999. It was designed and launched with the aim of replacing IPv4. Internet protocol is the main provider of and identification and location system for computers on networks. IPv6 uses a 128-bit number address scheme allowing for total of 2128 that reached to 340, trillion, trillion, trillion internet addresses. It allows every person on earth using internet to have billions of addresses for every device they own.

Key Differences

  1. IPv4 allows for 4 billion internet addresses while IPv6 allows for 340, trillion, trillion, trillion internet addresses.
  2. IPv4 address size is 32-bit number while IPv6 address size is 128-bit number.
  3. IPv4 was released in 1981 while IPv6 was released in 1999.
  4. Address format of IPv4 is that is dotted decimal notation while IPv6 uses hexadecimal notation that is 3FFE:F200:0234:AB00:0123:4567:8901: ABCD.
  5. Prefix notation of IPv4 is while IPv6 prefix notation is 3FFE:F200:0234:: /48.
  6. Security that was always a challenge in IPv4, is an integral part of IPv6 that is network layer security built-in (IPsec).
  7. IPv6 header structure is more improved and with less processing head. Many of the fields in the IPV4 header were optional and were used infrequently.
  8. IPv6 has more efficient routing. IPv6 routers no longer have to fragment packets, an overhead-intensive process that just slows a network down.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss