What is the difference between IPV4 and IPV6?

With more and more electronic devices connecting to the Internet, addressing by the ipv4 protocol will soon come to saturation. To continue to keep objects connected (especially with the deployment of 5G ) a new protocol has emerged for a few years and is starting to be deployed, more specifically ipv6, but then what is the difference between these two protocols and why migrate to ipv6? What's new?

Definition of the IP address

On the Internet, the IP address constitutes the very identity of the connected object. It is a unique address assigned to each machine and which allows it to be Identify on the Internet. It can be compared to the postal address which allows you to avoid the wrong recipient.

Internet protocol

Online, data is transferred in packets. Internet Protocol (IP) ensures the addressing as well as the fragmentation of data packets on networks In other words, IP, in symbiosis with TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), allows data to be sent from the sender to the recipient by defining a data structure also called packets. , there are two versions of the Internet protocol: IPv4 and IPv6.

L'IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4)

This Internet protocol is the fourth version used to address and identify computers on the network. To function, it uses a 32-bit address scheme. This is in total a little more of 4 billion unique addresses possible by the play of combinations. But today, with the exponential growth of connected devices, the number of IP addresses offered by the IPv4 protocol is likely to run out. cause, each device (computers, smartphones, game consoles, drones, connected watches, etc.) must have an IP address to connect to the Internet.

L'IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6)

To anticipate this problem, a new Internet Protocol version 6 addressing system has been introduced and is currently being deployed. It will provide even more Internet addresses, which will facilitate in the long term the growth of the deployment of 5G and the number of hosts connected through a single address.

This new standard (IPv6) has an address space of 128 bits. This means that by using this protocol, we will be able to have access to a total number of unique addresses more than 3.4 * 1038. With such a quantity of unique addresses now available thanks to IPv6, the world of 5G with the generation of connected objects will no longer be a dream, but a reality.

The difference between IPv4 and IPv6


Between IPv4 and IPv6, the major difference is already the size of the address space. For the former, we get an address in decimal format of one 32-bit size, which equates to a total of 4.3 billion unique IP addresses, for the second one is a hexadecimal address, 128-bit in size. This corresponds to 3.4 * 1038 unique addresses, so IPv6 offers enough IP addresses to connect the entire planet.

But, the size of the address space is not the only difference between the two standards. IPv6 brings many advantages. Here are a few!

Automatic configuration of IPv6 address

Unlike the IPv4 standard, each connected device can automatically configure its IP address without the intervention of the network administrator. Although this is a technical advantage, it must be said that the configuration of an IPv6 network is much simpler than that of an IPv4 network.

Better network security

With the IPv4 standard, the security is not very high, since at the time of its creation, the threats were less. Today, with the evolution of the technology, IPv4 has several security vulnerabilities that were subsequently corrected using optional security mechanisms such as SSL or IPSec. IPSec for example offers cryptographic security of network traffic, confidentiality, peer authentication, data integrity and anti-replay. As this is IPv6 standard, IPSec is natively implemented. In other words, the IPv6 protocol already includes enhanced security from the ground up.

Simpler headers

With the IPv6 standard, headers have also been simplified. In other words, thanks to multicast, the internet user can send a data packet to several recipients at one time , which was only possible as an option with IPv4.