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what is the difference between an IPv4 address and an IPv6 address?

Posted on 2011-03-06
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Hi Everyone,

         While engaging in some troubleshooting of two wireless laptops which is still ongoing, there was reference being made to IPv4 addresses and IPv6 addresses.  What exactly is the difference or differences between these two?  To be honest, I never really noticed any mention of IPv6 address being made until Windows Vista and Windows 7 came along.  Therefore, I assume this is probably some kind of new internet protocol.

           Any clarification on this will be appreciated.

           Thank you.

           George
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Question by:GMartin
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 1400 total points
ID: 35051314
Roughly an IPv6 address is much larger than an IPv4 address (to allow many more addresses). Vista and Windows 7 include IPv6 protocols for future use. The protocol is different. You do not need to disable IPv6 in either system (I have used both). ... Thinkpads_User
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by:brendanmeyer
brendanmeyer earned 400 total points
ID: 35051342
Examples of IPv6 address:
1050:0:0:0:5:600:300c:326b
ff06::c3
0:0:0:0:0:0:192.1.56.10

Example of IPv4 address
192.1.56.10

Allows for more Addresses

Have a look at:
http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/20536.aspx

You don't need to have IPv6 enabled on most local networks
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by:John Hurst
ID: 35051379
>>> You don't need to have IPv6 enabled on most local networks

That is true; however, both Vista and Windows 7 come with IPv6 protocols installed and enabled. My point was that you do not need to disable them in either OS. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 35051453
Hi Everyone,

             Thank you so much for the replies given.  At this point, I would like to break everything down into more lamen terms,  First, what is the significance of an IPv4 address?  From what I gather, it represents the location of a device (e.g. NIC card, WiFi card, router, etc.) on a network.  In other words, an IPv4 address can be thought of as being similiar to a street address.  However, I am having trouble capturing the signficance with respect to an analogy for the IPv6 IP address.  I hope my analogy of the IPv4 address is a correct one.  If not, please feel free to jump in and correct me on it.

                George
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by:brendanmeyer
brendanmeyer earned 400 total points
ID: 35051612
yes the street address is a good way to think of the IPv4 addresses

ok IPv4 allows (4,294,967,296) addresses

IPv6 is a new protocol to allow more address (approximately 340 undecillion addresses)

This is because, there aren't enough addresses on the internet (well in the near future)
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John Hurst earned 1400 total points
ID: 35051674
In terms of "street" address, IPv4 and IPv6 are precisely the same. IPv4 was the first rendition of Internet addresses many years ago. At that time, IP connected refrigerators, appliances, PDA's and such like were not imagined to the extent they exist today.

IPv4 addresses (external, not non-routable) will run out very soon. ISP's will soon have to assign IPv6 addresses (which is the second and larger addressing scheme). It just permits more devices.

Otherwise they are the same. ... Thinkpads_User
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by:Paul Sauvé
Paul Sauvé earned 200 total points
ID: 35060930
Hte simple answer is that we HAVE run out of IPv4 addresses! No new ons can be created. The existing ones will still be used.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 35210137
Thank you. I was pleased to assist you with this. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 35210143
Hi Everyone,

            Thanks so much for the insightful and visionary input shared to this question.  To be honest, I did learn a great deal from each person's post.   The differences between IPv4 and IPv6 were explained very thoroughly as substantiated by the great examples given.  I especially appreciate the explanation given for why IPv4 addresses are running out, thus, opening the need for for IPv6.  And, with technology like it is, it certainly made much since considering how many different things are online these days.

               Many thanks once again.

               George
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