IPv6 benefits: Faster connections, richer data | Network World
The benefits of IPv6 over IPv4 are many, but to reap them enterprises need to enable their networks to support the newer protocol, starting with Wi-Fi upgrades.
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The business advantages of IPv6 are many, including direct customer access to websites, faster end-user experiences with Internet applications, and the opportunity to gather data about visitors to applications as well as measure visitors’ engagement and conversion. Without NAT, IPv6 is faster than IPv4If 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. That’s in part because of the proliferation of network-address translation (NAT) by service providers for IPv4 Internet rriers lack sufficient public IPv4 addresses to provide unique addresses to all of their subscribers so they channel them through a massive NAT using a pool of public IPv4 addresses. IPv4 traffic that hits carrier networks typically goes through one or more NATs and is backhauled through centralized carrier-grade or large-scale NATs where customer connections compete for TCP/UDP port space, connection limits, and bandwidth. All this NATing requires recomputing TCP and UDP header checksums which introduces delays in the delivery of contrast, most mobile and broadband subscribers now have native IPv6 on their devices. The IPv6 packets don’t pass through carrier NAT systems and instead go directly to the Internet. The lack of NAT usage by IPv6 means that TCP and UDP header checksums do not need to be re-computed like with IPv4.
IPv4 vs IPv6: The Difference Explained | CyberNews
An Internet Protocol address, also known as an IP address, is a set of numbers given to a computer or device to let it communicate on the internet. And it’s incredibly important. After all, without an IP address, you wouldn’t be able to send and receive information. In other words, without IP addresses, the internet would be impossible.
And there are two types of IP addresses: IPv4 and IPv6. But what does this mean? What’s the difference between IPv4 and IPv6? We’re putting them head to head in our in-depth IPv4 vs IPv6 review to tell you everything you need to know about these two different internet protocol address types.
What is IPv4? IPv4, or Internet Protocol version 4, was developed back in the early 1980s. And despite the invention of the more modern IPv6, IPv4 still routes most of the world’s traffic. IPv4 uses a 32-bit address and can support a maximum of 232 (or more than 4 billion) IP addresses.
An IPv4 address is made up of four numbers, each ranging from 0 to 255. These are separated by full stops. It’s very likely that your IP address will be an IPv4 address.
Here is an example of an IPv4 address: 192. 168. 1. 1
Pros: Simplicity (easier to read and remember), existing infrastructure (the majority of websites use IPv4), proven technology
Cons: Fewer resources (lack of new IPv4 addresses), subnetting problems
Of course, the fact that IPv4 has been around for nearly 40 years does present a problem. IPv4 has a limit of 4. 3 billion addresses, which sounds impressive. And back in the early 80s, this was seen as far more than enough. But of course, as the internet grew across the world, we quickly began to run out of IPv4 addresses. And by the mid-1990s, engineers had to come up with solutions to create more IP addresses.
Nowadays, everyone uses several devices to connect to the internet, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets, as well as traditional desktop computers. And with the Internet of Things meaning more devices need IP addresses than ever before, developers have had to come up with a more permanent solution to this problem.
What is IPv6? Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6, is the sixth iteration of the Internet Protocol and was created because the world was in danger of running out of IPv4 addresses. IPv6 works in much the same way as IPv4 – by providing unique, numerical IP addresses needed for devices to send and receive data on the internet.
However, as you might imagine, an IPv6 address is a lot longer than an IPv4 address, which means you can create a lot more unique IP addresses than you can with IPv4. And when we say a lot more, we really mean it. IPv6 uses a 128-bit address and can provide 340 undecillion IP addresses, while IPv4 is limited to 4. 3 billion IP addresses.
For those interested, an IPv6 address is made up of eight groups of four hexadecimal digits. These are separated by colons rather than full stops. An example of an IPv6 address looks like this: 2001:0db8:82a3:0000:0000:4a2e:0370:7337
Pros: More unique addresses, supported by new devices, no subnetting problems
Cons: Much longer than IPv4, not yet supported by all websites, possible system issues
IPv6 was first introduced back in the late 1990s in the hope that it would replace IPv4 before we ran out of IP addresses. However, the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 has been slow. And the main reason for this is that it costs time and money to upgrade all the routers, servers and switches that have depended on IPv4 for so long. So, while IPv6 is ready to go, it’s taking a long time to roll out.
Here are some of the benefits of IPv6:
Routing is made more efficient by reducing the size of routing tables.
Support for multicast rather than broadcast allows bandwidth-intensive packet flows to be sent to many destinations at the same time, which saves bandwidth.
Auto-configuration means that configuration tasks, such as IP address assignment and device numbering can take place automatically.
Security features that provide data integrity, authentication and confidentiality are baked into IPv6.
IPv4 vs. IPv6: what’s the difference? As well as having a lot more IP addresses, IPv6 has more functionality than IPv4. For one thing, IPv6 supports multicast addressing, which helps to enable bandwidth-intensive data, such as multimedia streams, to be sent to several destinations at the same time. This reduces bandwidth and makes things run more smoothly.
For the main differences between IPv4 and IPv6, take a look at our table:
IPv4IPv6Address32 bits (4 bytes)128 bits (16 bytes)Packet size576 bytes required, optional fragmentation1280 bytes required without fragmentationPacket fragmentationRouters and sending hostsSending hosts onlyChecksumHas a checksumDoesn’t have a checksumMulticast✔✔Broadcast✔✘DNS recordsPointer (PTR) records, DNS domainPointer (PTR) records, DNS domainIPSecOptionalRequiredLocal subnet group managementInternet Group Management Protocol (IGMP)Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD)IP to MAC TesolutionBroadcast ARPMulticast Neighbour SolicitationIPv6 also helps devices stay connected to several networks at once. This is because the configuration capabilities enable the hardware to assign multiple IP addresses to the same device automatically.
You’ll also find that IPv6 comes with a brand new feature called auto-configuration. This lets a device generate an IP address as soon as you switch it on. The device will then look for an IPv6 router. And if it finds one, the device can generate a local address and a globally routable address at the same time. With IPv4 networks, meanwhile, the process of adding devices usually needs to be done manually.
Having said all this, IPv6 isn’t perfect. In fact, at the moment, it’s actually no faster or more secure than IPv4. And, because IPv4 is so much more established than IPv6, you might find IPv4 more suited to your needs. After all, IPv6 doesn’t yet work on all VPNs. And some systems struggle with handling IPv6 routing.
IPv4 vs IPv6 security: which one is safer? IPv6 was made with security in mind, so, when implemented correctly, it is more secure than IPv4. IP Security (IPSec) is a series of IETF security protocols that promote authentication, security and data integrity that’s built into IPv6.
Back when IPv6 first launched, it required the encryption of internet traffic using IPSec, which is a popular encryption standard. This makes IPv6 secure as encryption scrambles the content of your internet traffic so that anyone intercepting is unable to decipher it.
However, IPSec can also be implemented on IPv4, which means that, in theory at least, IPv4 has the potential to be just as safe as IPv6. But of course, as it can be expensive to implement, this hasn’t seen widespread uptake.
Naturally, we expect to see an increase in IPSec use as we transition from IPv4 to IPv6. But until that happens, some experts assert that IPv6 users are actually more at risk of security issues than IPv4 users, even though IPv6 will ultimately end up being more secure in the future.
What is IPv6 tunneling? Some internet service providers use transition technologies, such as IPv6 tunnels. This technology allows private networks to communicate with each other, even if one of them uses an IPv4 address, and the other one – IPv6.
However, IPv6 tunneling can leave users vulnerable to cyber security threats like DoS attacks. In addition, hackers target IPv6 tunnel users with reflection attacks and packet injection.
Of course, as this transition to IPv6 is likely to take many more years to complete, these transition methods will probably be in use for a while. So it’s worth bearing in mind that the transition technology could leave you vulnerable to hacking.
IPv4 vs IPv6 speed: which one is faster? In speed tests, IPv4 and IPv6 delivered the same speed in direct connections. As a matter of fact, if anything, IPv4 was occasionally slightly quicker.
In theory, IPv6 should be slightly faster as cycles don’t have to be wasted on NAT translations. However, IPv6 also has larger packets, which can make it a little slower in some cases. So if anything, IPv4 may perform slightly faster. But there’s really not that much difference in it.
Do you need both IPv4 and IPv6? When possible, it is better to keep both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses enabled. For example, using only IPv6 can cause some accessibility issues, as only about one third of the internet supports IPv6 addresses.
Likewise, disabling IPv6 can cause certain problems, especially if your router is already using an IPv6 address. However, you should keep IPv6 enabled even if you use an IPv4 network. Otherwise, some Windows features (like Quick Assist) might not work properly.
IPv6 and VPNsMost VPNs operate on IPv4. If you’re using a VPN that uses IPv4 and you try to access a website that runs on IPv6, your VPN may redirect your traffic to an external IPv6 DNS server. This means that your traffic would exit its secure VPN tunnel, so your traffic will no longer be completely private.
This could make you susceptible to a DNS leak, which may mean your original IP address and, by extension, your location could be exposed. It could also disrupt the service of the website you’re trying to access. This also means your internet service provider is able to monitor your online activity, thereby rendering your VPN effectively useless.
However, some VPNs will offer IPv6 leak protection. So if you’re using IPv6 and you want to make sure your data is safe from leaks while you’re using your VPN, it’s worth making sure your VPN supports this.
You can find out more about IPv6 leak protection a bit further on in this guide.
VPNs with IPv6 supportThe majority of VPNs do not support IPv6 at the moment. But there are a few that do. Here’s a list of VPNs that support IPv6:
CyberGhost is one of the only VPNs that supports 100% of IPv6 addresses. In a pledge to consumers, CyberGhost promised that all of its servers will support IPv6, even if internet service providers don’t offer it yet.
PureVPN offers IPv6 support along with IPv6 leak protection to keep your online activity safe and secure at all times.
NordVPN has integrated IPv6 leak protection to prevent data leaks.
Perfect Privacy provides the option of an IPv6 address even if your provider does not offer it.
VPN uses a dual stack configuration to deliver IPv6 connectivity to support both IPv4 and IPv6.
AirVPN has deployed full IPv6 support to its VPN servers.
Why do we use IPv4 instead of IPv6?
The main reason IPv4 is still more widely used than IPv6 is because it takes a lot of time and resources for the transition from one to the other. After all, it’s quite costly and time consuming to upgrade all the routers, servers and switches that rely on IPv4. And, while some companies have begun to make the switch, others have opted for the cheaper and simpler option of sticking with IPv4.
What is the key difference between IPv4 and IPv6?
The main difference between IPv4 and IPv6 is that IPv6 has a lot more IP addresses than IPv4. IPv4 has 4. 3 billion IP addresses, while IPv6 has 340 undecillion IP addresses. This means that IPv6 will be the version we all eventually transition to, as the world needs a lot of IP addresses and IPv4 just simply doesn’t have enough for all the devices that need them.
What is IPv6 leak protection?
Lots of VPNs offer IPv6 leak protection, which works to stop your data from being exposed while you’re using IPv6. It often does this by automatically disabling IPv6 traffic while keeping you connected to your VPN. That way, no IPv6 traffic can leak out over your standard internet connection, thereby keeping all your online activity private and secure.
Does IPv6 affect ping?
Not that much. While there is some anecdotal evidence that using IPv6 can improve your ping, there hasn’t been enough testing done to truly prove this.
Can you use IPv4 and IPv6 at the same time?
Yes. With the help of dual-stack technology, some devices can run on IPv4 and IPv6 parallelly. Otherwise, it can be quite difficult to run your network on both IP address types.
Can you convert IPv6 to IPv4?
While it’s possible to convert a very small part of IPv6 to IPv4, it’s not possible to convert all of them because there are simply not enough of IPv4 addresses.
Is IPv6 better for gaming?
Using IPv6 is actually preferable when it comes to gaming. Aside from the possibility of better speeds, you no longer need to use port forwarding, as IPv6 will give your device its own public IP address.
How to change IPv4 to IPv6?
If your operating system, router, and ISP (Internet Service Provider) support IPv6, you can enable it whenever you want. If you’re using Windows 10, for example, you can enable IPv6 by checking the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) box in the Network and Sharing Center. However, you might need to contact your ISP first.
What happened to IPv5?
The idea of IPv5 was abandoned before its full launch. That’s because it used 32-bit addressing – the same one used by IPv4. If implemented, it would have faced the same problems. That’s why IPv6 took its place pretty quickly.
IPv4 vs. IPv6: What’s the Difference? | Avast
IPv4: a brief history
Before we get into the differences between the two IP address protocols, what’s IPv4? Well, an IP address is a string of numbers that is assigned to a device to identify it on the internet. It is an address, just as the number and street of your home is an address. While your home address is used to send you mail, your IP address is used to send packets of data that you request.
Internet Protocol version 4, generally referred to as IPv4, was developed in the early 1980s. An IPv4 address comprises four numbers, each ranging from 0 to 255, which are separated by periods. For example, Avast’s IP address is 5. 62. 42. 77. There is more to IP addresses, and it helps to understand the essentials of TCP/IP as well, but these are the basics.
Every website has an IP address; we just don’t use them anymore, typically. In the early days of the internet, it was necessary to know a website’s IP address in order to navigate to it. Then, the Domain Name Service (DNS) came along, which translates numbers into names. So when you type in “ the DNS translates that back to 5. This enables us to navigate the web much more conveniently, as it’s much easier to recall a website’s name than its IP address.
Have we run out of IPv4 addresses?
IPv4 has a theoretical limit of 4. 3 billion addresses, and in 1980, that was more than enough. But as the internet grew and went global, we quickly ran out of addresses, especially in today’s era of smartphones and IoT devices.
The internet has been running out of IPv4 addresses since the 1990s. While clever engineers have found ways around the problem, it wasn’t long before a more permanent fix became the goal. Developed to solve these capacity issues for good, IPv6 was needed when IPv4 could no longer support the load.
At present, IPv4 coexists on the internet with its newer version, though eventually, everything will use IPv6. Replacing old IPv4 equipment would be prohibitively expensive and disruptive, and so IPv6 is being slowly rolled out as older IPv4 hardware is retired.
IPv6: the future of the web?
Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6, was first introduced in the late 1990s as a replacement for IPv4. Even then the builders of the internet realized IPv4’s limitations and the eventual shortage.
IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, allowing for a theoretical 340, 282, 366, 920, 938, 463, 463, 374, 607, 431, 768, 211, 456, or 340 undecillion addresses. IPv6 addresses are represented as eight groups of four hexadecimal digits, with the groups being separated by colons. One example might be “2002:0de6:0001:0042:0100:8c2e:0370:7234, ” but methods to abbreviate this full notation exist.
In addition to increasing the supply of IP addresses, IPv6 also addressed IPv4’s many shortcomings — chief among them being security, which we’ll delve into more later.
IPv4 vs. IPV6
The advent of IPv6 brought more functionality, in addition to more IP addresses. For example, IPv6 supports multicast addressing, which allows bandwidth-intensive packet flows (such as multimedia streams) to be sent to multiple destinations simultaneously, reducing network bandwidth. But is IPv6 better than IPv4? Let’s find out.
IPv6 has a new feature called autoconfiguration, which allows a device to generate an IPv6 address as soon as it powers up and puts itself on the network. The device begins by looking for an IPv6 router. If one is present, the device can generate a local address and a globally routable address, allowing access to the wider internet. In IPv4-based networks, the process of adding devices often has to be done manually.
IPv6 allows devices to stay connected to several networks simultaneously. This is due to interoperability and configuration capabilities that enable the hardware to automatically assign multiple IP addresses to the same device.
Next, we examine the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 through the lenses of speed and security.
IPv4 vs. IPv6: Speed comparison
How do IPv4 and IPv6 compare when it comes to speed? The security blog Sucuri ran a series of tests in which they found that in direct connections, IPv4 and IPv6 delivered the same speed. IPv4 occasionally won the test.
In theory, IPv6 should be a little faster since cycles don’t have to be wasted on NAT translations. But IPv6 also has larger packets, which may make it slower for some use cases. What really makes a difference at this point is that IPv4 networks are mature and thus highly optimized, more so than IPv6 networks. So with time and tuning, IPv6 networks will get faster.
IPv4 vs. IPv6: Security comparison
IPv6 was built with more security in mind. IP Security (IPSec) is a series of IETF security protocols for security, authentication, and data integrity, and it’s fully integrated into IPv6. The thing is, IPSec can also be fully integrated into IPv4. It’s up to ISPs to implement it — and not all companies do.
IPv6 is designed for end-to-end encryption, so in theory, widespread adoption of IPv6 will make man-in-the-middle attacks significantly more difficult.
IPv6 also supports more-secure name resolution. The Secure Neighbor Discovery (SEND) protocol adds a security extension to the Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP), which handles discovery of other network nodes on a local link. By default, NDP is not secure, so it can be susceptible to malicious interference. SEND secures NDP with a cryptographic method that is independent of IPsec.
Thanks to native IPSec, IPv6 provides two security headers which can be used separately or together: the Authentication Header (AH) and Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP). Authentication Header provides data-origin authentication and protection against replay attacks, while ESP delivers connectionless integrity, data-origin authentication, protection against replay attacks, and limited traffic flow confidentiality, as well as privacy and confidentiality through encryption of the payload. IPv4 can also have this protection if IPSec is implemented on the network.
IPv4 has been significantly updated over the years, so the difference between IPv4 and IPv6 security is not extraordinary. The same IPSec in IPv6 is now available for IPv4; it’s up to network providers and end users alike to embrace and use it — so a properly configured IPv4 network can be as secure as an IPv6 network.
Avast SecureLine VPN is currently compatible only with IPv4, but keeps your IP completely hidden with bank-grade encryption to maintain safety and anonymity online.
Additional benefits of IPv6
IPv6 allows for binding a public signature key — one-half of an asymmetric encryption system, the other being the private key — to an IPv6 address. The resulting Cryptographically Generated Address allows the user to demonstrate “proof of ownership” for a particular IPv6 address and validate their identity. It is impossible to retrofit this functionality to IPv4 with the current 32-bit address space constraint.
The new protocol also enables end-to-end connectivity at the IP layer by eliminating the need for Network Address Translation (NAT) — one of the workarounds designed to conserve IPv4 addresses. This transition opens the door for new and valuable services. Peer-to-peer networks are easier to create and maintain, and services such as VoIP and Quality of Service (QoS) become more robust.
Also, IPv6 brings the ability to belong to many networks simultaneously, with a unique address on each network, and the ability to combine multiple enterprise networks without readdressing.
Ultimately: Is IPv6 better? Usually, but not always. If you’re asking yourself, “Should I use IPv6? ” read on before making your decision.
How to disable IPv6 on Windows, Mac, and Linux
Since very few VPN services support IPv6, IPv6 traffic on your physical NIC may leak information about your online activity or your hardware MAC address. For that reason, if your ISP does support IPv6, but you use a VPN like SecureLine VPN, you should disable IPv6 on your system.
The first thing to do is determine if your ISP supports IPv6. Comcast most notably does and makes a lot of noise about it. However, plenty of big-name ISPs do not, such as Spectrum (which you may know as Time Warner or Road Runner). This site will help you determine if your ISP supports it.
If the IPv6 connectivity test says “Not supported, ” then you are OK and your IPv6 address isn’t leaking. Spectrum falls into this category. If the test for IPv6 connectivity says “Supported, ” then you should consider disabling the IPv6 in your operating system.
Instructions for disabling IPv6 are available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Why don’t we switch to IPv6 permanently?
We will, in time. Legacy technologies take a long time to die off, and the switch to a replacement is never as fast as its supporters would prefer. There will be a permanent migration to IPv6, but it will take decades to achieve. The Internet Society reported last year that there are 24 countries in the world where IPv6 totals more than 15% of overall IP traffic, and 49 that have topped the 5% threshold. So migration from IPv4 to IPv6 is progressing very slowly.
How to Protect your IP address
Why protect your IP address? With your location showing, you expose yourself to a variety of security and privacy issues, such as:
Packet sniffing: Hackers can observe your IP traffic to find out sensitive information about you such as your online banking activity.
Surveillance: Your ISP, snoops, and even governments can spy on your web Websites can see your location and discriminate against you based on it. They can block content and even raise prices.
Avast SecureLine VPN hides your IP address and anonymizes your online activity to keep you safe online. Take back your online privacy in just one click.
Frequently Asked Questions about is ipv6 faster than ipv4
Is IPv6 faster gaming?
Is IPv6 better for gaming? Using IPv6 is actually preferable when it comes to gaming. Aside from the possibility of better speeds, you no longer need to use port forwarding, as IPv6 will give your device its own public IP address.Sep 3, 2021
Does IPv6 mean faster Internet?
In theory, IPv6 should be a little faster since cycles don’t have to be wasted on NAT translations. But IPv6 also has larger packets, which may make it slower for some use cases. What really makes a difference at this point is that IPv4 networks are mature and thus highly optimized, more so than IPv6 networks.May 8, 2020
Should I use IPv6 or IPv4?
You should use both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. Nearly everyone on the Internet currently has an IPv4 address, or is behind a NAT of some kind, and can access IPv4 resources.