What are the chances that we may run out of IP addresses? Have you ever pondered over the answer to this question? About twenty years ago, when IPv4 was the only type existing, the answer could have been pretty soon. Today, things have changed thanks to the emergence of IPv6. The development of this new version ushered in an era where we may never run out of IP addresses.
So, what are the key differences between IPv4 and IPv6? Why are we running out of one and may continue to use the other indefinitely?
Basic Understanding of IPv4
This is also known as Internet Protocol Version 4. It gives internet-based devices the ability to communicate with one another virtually. First introduced in 1978, it became a standard for effective communication between devices on the internet. IPv4 can send a lot of information from one device to another using small memory bits. IPv4 could accommodate about four billion addresses. As the years went by, almost all the IPv4 addresses had been used.
Basic Understanding of IPv6
IPv6 is simply an updated version of the IPv4 model. It performs similar functions as IPv4 but has unique features. One unique aspect of this internet protocol version is that its addresses may never be exhausted. It provides about 340 trillion IP addresses. It was built to be a standard in a modern world dominated by Internet-based devices.
Important Features of IPv6
IPv6 enhances the transfer of information and data in a more advanced manner than its IPv4 counterpart. It does not necessarily require a long process to confirm the status of the data transferred. IPv4 uses a process known as Checksum to ensure the right information or data is being sent. Since IPv6 does not require the use of Checksum in transferring data. So, with the use of IPv6, data can be transferred more quickly and efficiently compared to IPv4.
Differences Between IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses
They are of various kinds.
Speed Difference Although the advanced nature of IPv6 would require more data to be sent, it also enables the transfer of data swiftly. Unlike IPv4, where the data you receive may have been received by another address before getting to yours, IPv6 sends data directly to your address. It is safe to say IPv6 can easily pass an internet speed test compared to IPv4. You may not need to be concerned about how fast an IPv6 would transfer data because you are assured that it has passed the necessary speed tests, making it especially ideal for commercial use.
With IPv6, every piece of information you receive is personalized and direct. That is, it is not initially subjected to examination or transferred to another address before you receive it. Unlike IPv6, IPv4 will check the data being transferred for errors — using Checksum — to ensure you receive the correct information. This will slow down the transfer process. Although IPv6 carries out checks to ensure correct information is passed, it does so at the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) level, which is more advanced than Checksum. IPv6 also enhances the speed of the internet, but IPv4 is unlikely to boost internet speed.
IPv6 addresses are significantly more secure than IPv4 addresses. One major reason for this is the vast number of IPv6 addresses available when compared to IPv4. Picture two scenarios where: on the one hand, you are in the midst of a group of hundred people. On the other hand, you are in the midst of a group of a hundred million people.
There’s a chance that if someone is looking for you, they are more likely to single you out in the first scenario compared to the second. Technically, it could mean that your IPv6 address is more secure than an IPv4 address. However, note that hackers and cybercriminals with more sophisticated tools can still fish out your IPv6 address. Although IPv6 addresses are more secure than IPv4, they do not guarantee automatic security.
Because IPv6 is a new model of IP addresses, its configuration process may be quite complex. Since most individuals are still trying to fully comprehend how IPv6 functions, some dishonest people may exploit others’ vulnerabilities.
Experts felt it was necessary to create another version of internet protocol when IPv4 addresses became limited. Today, we may never run out of IP addresses — all thanks to the development of IPv6. Although these two versions of internet protocol still find relevance in today’s world, IPv6 has shown to be more sophisticated, faster, and more secure. To find out which IP address you’re using, use IPcost. It will answer the question “what is my ip address” and give you the exact figures.