IPv6 vs. IPv4: Which is Really Better?
Filed Under: Media & Tech | Posted: 11/06/2012 at 6:10AM
Comments | Region: Zambia
A lot of people are wondering if IPv4 is better than IPv6. Some people still hold this to be true. In fact however, IPv6 has many more impressive features than the previous Internet protocol version. The following are some of the reasons why.
More Address Space
Version 4 has 32 bits which permits around 4 billion different IP addresses. It seems like a lot. But the exponential growth of the Internet has made this inadequate. Version 6 has 128 bits. This translates to 340 billion billion billion billion (3.4×1038) different addresses. To get an idea of the size difference, imagine that the whole v4 is stored in one iPod. In contrast, the whole v6 space would be the size of the Earth.
This ensures there will be more space for future Internet addresses. The additional space also means there is no more NAT. Networks are easier to set up, Hardware and software become less complicated. Another advantage is that you can create a network where various appliances and gadgets are on one network. Because there are a lot of IP addresses, no conflicts in that area will be occurring.
Superior Connectivity End to End
The extra address space means better end-to-end connectivity is assured. For home users it means streaming media, VoIP and similar services will work much better.
Anyone who sets up networks will be happy to know that v6 configuration is automatic. The system itself has been greatly simplified. Compared to the laborious setup of v4, the new Internet protocol offers plug-and-play. It has DHCPv6, which streamlines the system.
There are also serverless and stateless configurations. Stateless configuration allows a host to configure its Internet protocol. There is no need for a stateful address server. Instead of just an address, whole prefixes are sent to a device. Routers are able to easily configure interfaces. It is used by networks to generate customer gateways dynamically.
Header Structures are Simpler
Internet protocol version 6 has a simplified packet header structure. The reduced complexity means less effort and time goes into processing. It became possible because fields that are not essential are set only after the protocol header. Because of this, the headers are more effectively processed. There is no need for fragment and reassemble packets, network-layer checksums computation and headers parsing.
Routers overhead processing is reduced. The end result is that more packets can be processed. The extension header makes protocol inclusions more flexible. Version 4 has size restrictions; version 6 does not. It is possible to expand them for data accommodation. Standard version 6 protocols do not have an extension header. They will only be added of required. This is in cases of special handling. The design makes version 6 more than capable of handling any given situation.
Version 6 has also improved in the security aspect. Data communications are secured by cryptographic protocols. Three security protocols are used: Internet Key Exchange (IKE), Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) and Authentication Header (AH). These measures assure end to end mechanisms are in place to secure information. It means programs no longer need to have these features integrated.
There are many computer users who are not familiar with either type. However, it is still important for people to know if iPv4 is better than iPv6. Knowing these facts is essential for anyone who is running a network or uses the Web a lot.