IPv4 and IPv6 are the main Internet Protocol (IP) versions that enable data exchange and online networking. However, they are both different in their features and functionalities. As such, a few users wonder if they should stick to IPv4 or switch to IPv6.
We’ll provide a head-to-head comparison of both IP versions and explain whether you should choose an IPv6 or IPv4 proxy.
What Are IPv4 & IPv6 Addresses?
An IPv4 is an Internet protocol version that identifies devices on a network via an addressing system. It was the first IP version and has been a primary communication model for the internet since its launch in the 1980s.
It assigns a 32-bit IP address to each connected device. Each address contains 4 sets of numbers separated by dots, like:
All IPv4 addresses constitute two parts: the network ID and the host ID. The former indicates the device’s network, while the latter recognizes the device over a network.
IPv6, on the other hand, is a newer Internet Protocol version. It aims to meet the need for more IP addresses, which was the main shortcoming of its predecessor, IPv4.
Unlike its contemporary, IPv6 assigns the device a 128-bit hexadecimal IP address. The version uses over 340 undecillion unique addresses.
IPv6 addresses are relatively longer than IPv4. Besides, they use colons instead of periods for formatting. Here’s an example.
Primary Features of IPv4
- It creates 32-bit IP addresses
- IPv4 provides a simple virtual communication layer over hundreds of devices.
- The simple IP address is easier to memorize
- It offers video conferences and libraries
- Millions of devices support IPv4
Primary Features of IPv6
- It creates 128-bit hexadecimal IP addresses
- It allows stateless and stateful configurations
- It supports Quality of Service (QoS)
- It offers a simpler header format than IPv4 and allows for better multicast routing.
- The Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) of IPv6 provides better encryption and authentication.
Pros and Cons of IPv4 Vs. IPv6
The IPv6 intended to replace IPv4 with its launch. However, that has not been possible as yet. This means IPv4 has its pros, too.
We’ll enlist the advantages and disadvantages of both protocols to unfold more about what makes them unique.
Advantages of IPv4
- IPv4 implements security measures to encrypt the data in its address packets, boosting your online security.
- Topology support. IPv4 can easily support topology drawings due to its simple prefixes.
- The routing process is pretty efficient, and the proactive address structure can adapt to several network cases.
- It allows different devices to connect across a range of networks. IPv4 also allows identity verification for each device besides connection.
Disadvantages of IPv4
- IPv4 has launched decades ago. Hence, it is not efficient enough to tackle today’s security threats.
- IPv4 requires auto or manual configuration. The manual configuration was achieved via Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). However, it’s quite complicated, given the individual infrastructure management.
- Although IPv4 has mobility specifications, they are inefficient. It’s because it has its unique infrastructure, which makes mobility nodes ineffective.
- Limited IP addresses. Although 4 billion sounds enough, they’re limited in today’s highly digitalized and fast-paced world.
Advantages of IPv6
- IP addresses. IPv6 offers 340 trillion trillion trillion IP addresses which are far from exhausting anytime soon.
- It offers better security due to its enhanced authentication methods integrated into the network firewalls.
- Better data flow. It offers efficient data flow by allowing large data packets to be sent together, conserving bandwidth.
- Efficient routing. IPv6 allows for quick aggregation of prefixes assigned to Internet Protocol devices.
Disadvantages of IPv6
- Transition difficulty. Since most devices aren’t IPv6 compatible, the transition to IPv6 is relatively challenging and tedious.
- Organizations would need to pay more initial costs when transitioning to IPv6.
IPv6 Vs. IPv4 Proxy: Which One to Choose?
When choosing between an IPv6 vs. IP4 proxy, you’d naturally want to invest in a more reliable and suitable option. Here’s what makes one better than another.
Reasons Why IPv6 Proxy Is Better
- IPv6 provides better security and privacy as the communication requires each endpoint to support Internet Protocol Security (IPsec).
- IPv6 provides “clean” addresses. In other words, they offer a list of proxies not known before. So, you have limited chances of getting blocked.
- The smaller headers, efficient routing, and QoS support make IPv6 proxies perform better.
Reasons Why IPv4 Proxy Is Better
- IPv4 proxies have widespread support. Although all modern devices will provide IPv6 support, with a few laws regulating its support, it is still a minority.
- It is a tried and true proxy server and has been functional since the birth of the internet.
- It offers a fair amount of privacy and security.
Both IPv6 and IPv4 have their benefits. So, the choice depends on your preferences by the end of the day. If you want to improve routing, have access to trillions and trillions of IP addresses, and enhance security, consider going the IPv6 route.
If you do not want to invest time and effort in transitioning toward the newer version, IPv4, being ubiquitous, is a better option for you.
IPv6 and IPv4 are two primary Internet Protocols. However, the world is increasingly turning to IPv6 proxies, given their security and routing efficiency.
Nonetheless, that doesn’t make IPv4 proxy a bad choice because it is highly compatible and prevalent. So, consider your preferences and choose accordingly.