IPv4 vs IPv6: What are the differences?


In this blog, we'll delve into IPv4 vs IPv6, and explore the meanings of IP, IPv4, and IPv6, and the difference between IPv4 and IPv6. If you are confused with these two IP types, you have come to the right place. Let's unravel the world of IP together!

What is IP

What Is IP?

IP refers to Internet Protocol, and it is a fundamental protocol used in computer networks. Each device connected to the network is assigned a unique numerical label called an IP address. These IP addresses allow devices to locate and communicate with each other effectively, facilitating accurate and efficient transmission of data across networks. In simple terms, IP operates like a digital postal system, ensuring information reaches its intended destination on the internet without disruptions.

What Are IPv4 and IPv6?

IPv4, or Internet Protocol version 4, assigns unique IP addresses to devices connected to the Internet.

The subsequent version is IPv6, which is more advanced, because IPv6 provides an incredibly vast number of addresses compared to IPv4, accommodating the growing number of internet-connected devices.

IPv4 vs IPv6

After introducing IP, let's take a look at the difference between IPv4 and IPv6.

IPv4 vs IPv6

IPv4 vs IPv6: Addressing Category

Addressing CategoryIPv4IPv6
Size of IP Address32 bits (4 bytes)128 bits(16 bytes)
Addressing MethodIPv4 is a 32-bit numeric address with dot-separated binary bits.The length of the IPv6 binary system is 128 bits, and each group is separated by a colon ':' with 16 bits. It can be divided into 8 groups, and each group is expressed in 4-digit hexadecimal.
Address Space2^322^128
Number of Header Fields128
IP Header OptionThe IP header (before any transport headers) may be accompanied by various options.The IPv6 header has no options. Whereas IPv6 adds additional (optional) extension headers.
The Type Field Identifier of The Data Link Layer (L2)0x08000x86dd
Length of The Header FieldVariable length of 20-60 bytes depending on the IP options provided.Fixed length of 40 bytes. There is no IP header option. In general, IPv6 headers are simpler than IPv4 headers.
ChecksumIPv4 Has checksum fields.IPv6 does not have.
Type of AddressesUnicast, broadcast, and multicast.Unicast, enhanced multicast, anycast.
Number of ClassesIPv4 provides 5 distinct classes of IP Addresses.IPv6 enables the storage of an infinite number of IP Addresses.
IPv4 vs IPv6 configuration category

IPv4 vs IPv6: Configuration Category

The configuration category includes VLSM support, Fragmentation, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), and so on.

Configuration MetricIPv4IPv6
ConfigurationA newly installed system must be configured before it can communicate with other systems: that is, IP addresses and routes must be assigned.The configuration of IPv6 is optional depending on the desired functionality.
VLSM SupportYesNo
FragmentationFragmentation is done by sending and forwarding routes.The sender does fragmentation.
Communication TrackingYesYes
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)IBMi supports the use of a DHCP server for IPV4.DHCP over IBMi does not support IPV6. However, it can be achieved using an ISC DHCP server.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)YesYes
IBM Navigator for I SupportYesYes
Address AllocationInitially, addresses are assigned by network class. As address space is consumed, smaller allocations are made using 'Classless Inter-Domain Routing' (CIDR).The address space of IPv6 is large enough to provide everyone in the world with their own /48 subnet prefix length.
IPv4 vs IPv6 feature category

IPv4 vs IPv6: Feature Category

The features category includes indicators that relate to the specific features of IPv4 and IPv6

Feature CategoryIPv4IPv6
Major FeatureSimple, easy to implement.Scalable, future-proof, vast address, space.
Address MaskUse for the designated network from the host portion.Not used.
Mobility & InteroperabilityIPv4's relatively constrained network topologies move to restrict mobility and interoperability capabilities.IPv6 provides interoperability and mobility capabilities that are embedded in network devices.
SecurityIPv4’s security depends on applications. IPv4 was not designed with safety in mind.IPSec(Internet Protocol Security) is built into the IPv6 protocol, usable with proper critical infrastructure.
LAN ConnectionLAN connections are used by IP gateways to reach the physical network.IPv6 works with any Ethernet adapter and can be used between logical partitions over virtual Ethernet.
Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU)The minimum value is generally 576 bytes.The MTU lower limit of IPv6 is 1280 bytes.
Packet FragmentationAllows from routers and sending host.Only allows sending hosts.
Packet HeaderIPv4 does not identify packet flow for QoS handling.The packet head of IPv6 contains a Flow Label field which specifies packet flow for QoS handling.
DNS RecordsA record for IPv4 addresses.AAAA record (4A record)
Address ConfigurationThe address of the IPv4 protocol can be configured manually or through DHCP.The address of the IPv6 protocol can be configured by DHCP, autoconfiguration.
IPSecIPv4’s IPSec is optional.IPsec was originally a mandatory requirement for the IPv6 protocol but has since been made optional.
Network Address Translation (NAT)YesCurrently, NAT does not support IPv6. In general, IPv6 does not require NAT.
Dynamic Host Configuration ServerDHCSDHCS, stateless autoconfiguration.

IPv4 vs IPv6: Other Category

The other category includes indicators that do not fit neatly into any of the other categories

Other CategoryIPv4IPv6
MappingIPv4 uses Address Resolution Protocol, or ARP to map to the MAC address.IPv6 uses NDP or Neighbour Discovery Protocol.
Combability with Mobile DevicesIPv4 is a 32-bit numeric address with dot-separated binary bits. IPv4 is not suited to mobile networks.IPv6 is a hexadecimal with an alphanumeric address consisting of 128 bits. IPv6 is suited to mobile networks.

IPv4 vs IPv6 Conclusion

IPv6's superiority over IPv4 is evident. This benefits from its numerous advantages, including larger address space, improved security, better performance, and enhanced mobility. Nevertheless, widespread adoption of IPv6 is not as common as IPv4, which may raise compatibility concerns. It's crucial to ensure that your device supports IPv6 before purchasing it.

what IP version does DataBase Mart Use

What IP Version Does Database Mart Use?

If you want to host your site at Database Mart, you might be curious about our IP version. Database Mart currently uses IPv4 by default, and we also offer IPv6 for customers who require it. If you need a server configured with IPv6, please feel free to contact us, and we'll be glad to assist you.