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IPv4 vs. IPv6 Benefits – What is it? | ThousandEyes
What is IPv6?
IPv6 is the next generation Internet Protocol (IP) address standard intended to supplement and eventually replace IPv4, the protocol many Internet services still use today. Every computer, mobile phone, home automation component, IoT sensor and any other device connected to the Internet needs a numerical IP address to communicate between other devices. The original IP address scheme, called IPv4, is running out of addresses due to its widespread usage from the proliferation of so many connected devices.
What is IPv4?
IPv4 stands for Internet Protocol version 4. It is the underlying technology that makes it possible for us to connect our devices to the web. Whenever a device accesses the Internet, it is assigned a unique, numerical IP address such as 99. 48. 227. To send data from one computer to another through the web, a data packet must be transferred across the network containing the IP addresses of both devices.
Why Support IPv6? What are the benefits of IPv6?
IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the sixth revision to the Internet Protocol and the successor to IPv4. It functions similarly to IPv4 in that it provides the unique IP addresses necessary for Internet-enabled devices to communicate. However, it does have one significant difference: it utilizes a 128-bit IP address.
Key benefits to IPv6 include:
No more NAT (Network Address Translation)
No more private address collisions
Better multicast routing
Simpler header format
Simplified, more efficient routing
True quality of service (QoS), also called “flow labeling”
Built-in authentication and privacy support
Flexible options and extensions
Easier administration (no more DHCP)
IPv4 uses a 32-bit address for its Internet addresses. That means it can provide support for 2^32 IP addresses in total â around 4. 29 billion. That may seem like a lot, but all 4. 29 billion IP addresses have now been assigned, leading to the address shortage issues we face today.
IPv6 utilizes 128-bit Internet addresses. Therefore, it can support 2^128 Internet addresses—340, 282, 366, 920, 938, 463, 463, 374, 607, 431, 768, 211, 456 of them to be exact. The number of IPv6 addresses is 1028 times larger than the number of IPv4 addresses. So there are more than enough IPv6 addresses to allow for Internet devices to expand for a very long time.
The text form of the IPv6 address is xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx, where each x is a hexadecimal digit, representing 4 bits. Leading zeros can be omitted. The double colon (::) can be used once in the text form of an address, to designate any number of 0 bits.
With Dual-IP stacks, your computers, routers, switches, and other devices run both protocols, but IPv6 is the preferred protocol. A typical procedure for businesses is to start by enabling both TCP/IP protocol stacks on the wide area network (WAN) core routers, then perimeter routers and firewalls, followed by data-center routers and finally the desktop access routers.
ThousandEyes Support for IPv6
With IPv6 becoming more prevalent in cloud provider and consumer access networks, you may already be on the path to IPv6 deployment with your network and applications.
If you are looking to understand IPv6 in your environment there are three things you should be monitoring:
IPv6 DNS resolution
IPv6 traffic paths
IPv6 BGP prefixes and routes
ThousandEyes has support for IPv6 so that organizations can utilize IPv6 across all of their test types (web, network, voice, routing) and agent types (cloud, enterprise, endpoint).
ThousandEyes Cloud Agent support for IPv6 is provided on six continents allowing global coverage for organizations. ThousandEyes also supports the use of dual-stack IPv4 and IPv6 Enterprise Agents. Enterprise Agents can have both addresses assigned and executes tests based on a user-defined preference for only IPv4, only IPv6 or a preference for IPv6.
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Parts of the IPv4 Address (System Administration Guide: IP Services)
Each network that runs TCP/IP must have a unique network number. Every
machine on the network must have a unique IP address. You must understand
how IP addresses are constructed before you register your network and obtain
its network number. This section describes IPv4 addresses. For information
on IPv6 addresses, see IPv6 Addressing.
The IPv4 address is a 32-bit number that uniquely identifies a network
interface on a machine. An IPv4 address is typically written in decimal digits,
formatted as four 8-bit fields that are separated by periods. Each 8-bit field
represents a byte of the IPv4 address. This form of representing the bytes
of an IPv4 address is often referred to as the dotted-decimal format.
The bytes of the IPv4 address are further classified into two parts:
the network part and the host part. The following figure shows the component
parts of a typical IPv4 address, 129. 144. 50. 56.
Figure 5–3 Parts of an IPv4 AddressNetwork Part
The network part specifies the unique number that is assigned to your
network. The network part also identifies the class of network that is assigned.
In Figure 5–3, the network part occupies two bytes of the
This is the part of the IPv4 address that you assign to each host. The
host part uniquely identifies this machine on your network. Note that for
each host on your network, the network part of the address is the same, but
the host part must be different.
Subnet Number (Optional)
Local networks with large numbers of hosts are sometimes divided into
subnets. If you choose to divide your network into subnets, you need to assign
a subnet number for the subnet. You can maximize the
efficiency of the IPv4 address space by using some of the bits from the host
number part of the IPv4 address as a network identifier. When used as a network
identifier, the specified part of the address becomes the subnet number. You
create a subnet number by using a netmask, which is a bitmask that selects
the network and subnet parts of an IPv4 address. Refer to Creating the Network Mask for IPv4 Addresses
Finding the Host Name, IP Address or Physical Address of your machine …
Windows 7 Instructions:
First, click on your Start Menu and type cmd in the search box and press enter.
A black and white window will open where you will type ipconfig /all and press enter.
There is a space between the command ipconfig and the switch of /all.
Your ip address will be the IPv4 address.
Windows 10 Instructions:
Right click the windows button in the lower left of your screen.
Select command prompt from the list.
When a technician requests the IP address of your Ethernet card, the information that follows after the title of Ethernet Local Area Adapter gigabit connection. Your IP address will be the IPv4 address.
The wireless card information will follow the title of Wireless Lan adapter connection. Any description that includes the word ‘Virtual’ is not the information that is needed for creating an internet connection for you.
Command Prompt Window:
Command Prompt Window
Frequently Asked Questions about whats an ipv4 address
What is IPv4 address?
The IPv4 address is a 32-bit number that uniquely identifies a network interface on a machine. An IPv4 address is typically written in decimal digits, formatted as four 8-bit fields that are separated by periods. Each 8-bit field represents a byte of the IPv4 address.
How do I find my IPv4 address?
First, click on your Start Menu and type cmd in the search box and press enter. A black and white window will open where you will type ipconfig /all and press enter. There is a space between the command ipconfig and the switch of /all. Your ip address will be the IPv4 address.
Is the IPv4 address the same as the IP address?
Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) defines an IP address as a 32-bit number. However, because of the growth of the Internet and the depletion of available IPv4 addresses, a new version of IP (IPv6), using 128 bits for the IP address, was standardized in 1998.