What are IPv4 and IPv6?

What are IPv4 and IPv6?

Mishel Shaji
Mishel Shaji

What is IP?

IP stands for Internet Protocol. It is a method (Protocol) by which data is sent to different devices over the Internet. Internet Protocol is a connectionless protocol, which means that no prior arrangements will be made between the sender and receiver before sending data packets. The sender simply sends data to the receiver without ensuring whether the receiver is ready or not to receive the incoming data.


IPv4 and IPv6 are two versions of Internet Protocol (IP). IPv4 stands for Internet protocol version 4. This fourth version of IP uses 32 bit addressing which limits the address space to roughly 4.3 billion addresses. This was a huge number in the 1980s. But with the boom of the internet, need for more IP addresses arose. This led to the development of IPv6.

An IPv4 address will contain 4 eight bit decimal numbers separated by a dot (


IPv6 is the sixth version of Internet Protocol and uses 128 bit addressing. Unlike IPv4, the IPv6 address is written in hexadecimal numbers separated by colons. IPv6 is more advanced and offers better security than IPv4.

IPv4 IPv6
32 bit addressing. 128 bit addressing.
Uses decimal numbers separated by a dot. Uses hexadecimal numbers separated by a colon.
No security. Secure with encryption.
Contains 14 Header fields. Has only 8 header fields.
IPv4 header id 20 bit. IPv6 header is 40 bit.