IPv4 vs IPv6 (Advantages and Disadvantages)

IPv4 vs IPv6 (Advantages and Disadvantages)

We can see the rapid growth of Internet users in the last few years and this increase also creates challenges for Internet governance groups, stakeholders and service providers. Day by day the internet infrastructure is expanding and we can even enjoy the internet service in villages and remote areas. Increased usage also increases the number of online devices. In the beginning, Internet Protocol addressing (specifically IP addressing for each online entity) was designed to be 32 bits, and this IP version of the scheme called IPv4.IPv4 addressing is like decimal is used to make IPv4 addresses more human-friendly, and a 32-bit address is converted to 4 decimal numbers separated by a dot (.). If we calculate these decimal values ​​and we can get the total number of devices that can participate in this protocol (256x256x256x256) = allows 4,294,967,296 addresses. That’s about 4 billion addresses, and in the early days of the Internet, no one could have thought that 4 billion would be complete. here we will discuss some disadvantages of IPv4 as we have seen the problem of addressing capabilities and then we will go through the solution that will replace IPv4 and the addressing structure of the new addressing scheme. we will look at some disadvantages of IPv4 and the new features of IPv6.

The rapid growth of the Internet and the exhaustion of IPv4 addressing

IPv4 allows for 4,294,967,296 addresses, which is about 4 billion, and IP allocation limits public IP addresses to a few hundred million. The reason for this limitation is companies using NAT (Network Address Translation) to map one public IP to multiple private IP addresses.

IPv4 security at the IP level

When we communicate in a public environment, we must encrypt the data to maintain security and privacy. After some time we now have security for IPv4 packets. This protection is known as Internet Protocol Security or IPSec, but it is not required for IPv4.

Internet support supporting large routing tables

In IPv4, the allocation of network identifiers is very critical, and there are currently more than 87,000 routes in the routing tables of Internet backbone routers today. The routing infrastructure is based on planar and hierarchical routing.

Quality of Service Concerns in IPv4

Today, Internet users are not limited to just browsing and searching for data. Current users are well versed in text and voice and video chat and video conferencing and online video libraries. This type of communication requires real-time data transfer for quality of service. We usually use UDP (User Datagram Protocol) or TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) for this kind of service. The IPv4 TOS field has limited functionality and has been redefined and interpreted locally over time. Additionally, payload identification that uses a TCP or UDP port is not possible when the IPv4 packet payload is encrypted.


As we can see, we have some basic problems in IPv4 practice, now we will check some new features of IPv6. here I want to describe some of the main features of IPv6. IPv6 deployment is a major challenge for Internet governance groups, stakeholders, and service providers. It’s difficult, but not impossible. Here we can see the advantages of IPv6. The biggest jump when upgrading from IPv4 32 bits to IPv6 128 bits.

IPv6 header format

The new header is designed to minimize header overhead. by moving both non-essential and optional fields to extension headers that are placed after the IPv6 header. The IPv6 header is handled more efficiently in the intermediate routers and this generates efficiency. IPv6 is 4 times larger than IPv4 and its header size is twice that of the older version.

IPv6 Large address space

In IPv6, source and destination addresses are based on 128 bits. 128-bit addressing can produce over 3.4 x 1038 possible combinations. At the moment we can say that this is enough, but who knows the future, we may face the same problem as IPv4 in a few decades. 128-bit addressing allows us multiple levels of subnetting and address allocation. So we can say that we have many addresses to use in the future.

Addressing and Routing Infrastructure Efficiency in IPv6

IPv6 was designed to create an efficient, hierarchical, and generalizable routing infrastructure that relies on the frequent occurrence of multiple levels of ISPs. Reduces the routing table size of the backbone routers. Which can lead to an efficient internet experience.

Security features are already built-in

IPv6 is designed to support IPsec (requires AH and ESP header support), also supports Mobile IPv6 mobility version. IPSec based on two types of extension headers and security settings negotiation protocol. The Authentication Header (AH) provides data integrity, data authentication, and replay protection for the entire IPv6 packet. It’s better than developers building security features into IPv6 development, rather than plugging in later.

IPv6 Quality of Service (QoS).

As we have already seen for UDP and TCP protocols for streaming and other multimedia services on the Internet. As the use of these services is increasing day by day, IPv6 has a flow level field in its header which makes better and special handling of packets from source to destination. Data traffic is identified in the IPv6 header, QoS support can be achieved even when the packet payload is encrypted with IPSec and ESP.

#IPv4 #IPv6 #Advantages #Disadvantages

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