IPv4 vs. IPv6: What's the Difference?

IPv4 vs IPv6: What’s the Difference?

IPv4 vs IPv6: What’s the Difference?

Are you confused about the difference between IPv4 vs IPv6?

If yes, you’re at the right place. This post will dig into everything you’ve to know to easily differentiate IPv4 vs IPv6.

An Internet Protocol address, aka IP address in simple terms, is a set of numbers assigned to an electronic device or computer which allows it to communicate on the internet.

In fact, it’s very important since, without an IP address, your device won’t be able to receive or send information.

More precisely, the internet wouldn’t be possible without IP addresses.

Moreover, with the exponential growth of the (IoT) Internet of Things, more and more devices are connecting to the internet daily.

As a result, there has been a fear that IP addresses will run out someday. However, don’t worry, the internet isn’t coming to an end.

To keep up with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), IPv6 has been adopted.

In fact, there are two kinds of IP addresses available in the market: IPv4 and IPv6. But what’s the difference between these two?

We’ll discuss IPv4 vs IPv6 in detail as it plays a vital role in the evolution and future of the internet.

IPv4 vs IPv6: What’s the Difference?

When we look at IPv4 vs IPv6, it might appear the same at first glance, but we can actually differentiate between the two.

One of the most obvious differences between the two that apply to normal people is the difference in their patterns.

While IPv4 employs a 32-bit address, the other one (IPv6) employs a 128-address.

In short, IPv6 comes with 1,028 times more IP addresses than IPv4, which solves the problem of “running out of IP addresses.”

IPv4 is a numeric IP address separated by periods, for example, IPv4 – 32.252.436.185.

On the flip side, IPv6 contains both alphabet and numbers and is separated by colons, such as IPv6 – 3082:0jd6:0000:0000:0000:ee00:0044:6778.

Apart from that, there are a few technical differences between the two, although non-developers don’t need to know them.

Some of the important technical differences to know while looking at IPv4 vs IPv6 include:

  • The packet headers of IPv6 are twice as big as that of IPv4.
  • Multicasting is an important part of the base specifications in IPv6, whereas it’s optional in IPv4.

Now let’s see some of the best VPN providers so that you can easily hide your IP addresses from your ISP if needed.

4 Best VPNs in 2024

These are the four best VPN providers that can help you in hiding your IP address in 2024:

  1. NordVPN
  2. Surfshark
  3. Atlas VPN
  4. ExpressVPN

1. NordVPN


Before moving ahead with IPv4 vs IPv6, let’s talk about the best VPN for hiding IP address: NordVPN.

It has consistently been and continues to be the best VPN provider on the market.

It appears to check all the boxes and outperform all of its competitors with its fast speed, excellent encryption, and competitive price.

In fact, if you ask anyone to recommend a VPN service, NordVPN will be on their list.

If you use a VPN, you may already be aware that the faster the VPN connection, the better the provider. And this is where NordVPN shines.

It has a Quick Connect feature that automatically connects your device to one of the fastest VPN servers.

As a result, the VPN provider ensures that you have an immediate connection whenever you use your VPN.

However, if you need to circumvent geo-restrictions, NordVPN can help. To circumvent geo-blocks, simply select a VPN server in a specific region.

Furthermore, you won’t be able to use Quick Connect in this case; instead, you’ll have to manually select a server from a long list.

NordVPN is also registered in Panama, a privacy-friendly region outside of the 14, 9, and 5 Eyes Alliances.

If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a Western alliance of countries that exchanges information and employs mass surveillance. That’s a huge relief for all NordVPN users.

Furthermore, even if a VPN service has a zero-logging policy and is registered in a country that is a member of the 14, 9, or 5 Eyes Alliance, using such a VPN provider is not a wise choice.

This is due to the risk of sensitive data falling into the hands of any third-party individuals. Fortunately, Panama does not have such intrusive data retention legislation.

As a result, all NordVPN users can rest assured that they can hold this provider to the highest online privacy and security standards.

NordVPN also strictly adheres to a verified zero-log policy, which is a plus.

Moreover, NordVPN has a CyberSec suite that includes ad-blocking, phishing scam protection, and malware defense.

The NordVPN apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, and iOS include the entire suite. However, it has yet to be included in the Android version of the app.

NordVPN uses the gold-standard AES 256-bit encryption method to protect your online data. In this encryption algorithm, asymmetric key encryption is employed.

This means that AES 256-bit encrypts and decrypts using the same key. It is actually more sophisticated than AES 128-bit and 128-bit encryption.

Furthermore, AES 128-bit encryption is used by government and military personnel to protect sensitive information.

So you’ve probably guessed how secure NordVPN is. In fact, we’re relieved to learn that the provider employs the highest level of VPN encryption.

AES 128-bit encryption is also combined with a 2048-bit DH key, SHA2-382 authentication, and PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy).

Within each NordVPN login, the PFS provides a unique key.

As a result, each time you connect to your VPN service, your user activities are refreshed. What more could anyone want?

2. Surfshark


It would be impossible to discuss the best VPN without mentioning Surfshark VPN. Because of its appealing price point, it is one of the most popular providers.

In fact, Surfshark is one of the most cost-effective VPN services available today. However, this does not imply that it provides fewer services than its competitors.

Surfshark is one of the VPN providers that adhere to a strict no-logging policy. This means it will never track or save your IP address, DNS queries, or browsing history.

On the other hand, the provider saves some information, including your initial account sign-up information (your encrypted password, payment info, and email address).

Another notable feature of Surfshark VPN is that it is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is not a member of the 14, 9, or 5 Eyes Alliances.

In fact, the British Virgin Islands has no data retention laws. As a result, Surfshark never stores customer data, so you won’t have to be concerned about your online privacy.

Surfshark VPN, in addition to its privacy-friendly location, includes an ad and malware blocker known as CleanWeb. This tool can detect and prevent all types of phishing attempts.

According to reports, it works quite well on websites with annoying ads, such as YouTube. Isn’t it incredible?

Furthermore, Surfshark VPN’s CleanWeb application increases your internet browsing speed by removing annoying adverts and malware.

Because advertisements and malware can cause slower browsing to begin. Surfshark also has an amazing feature called “Surfshark Search” (formerly known as “BlindSearch”).

The “Surfshark Search” tool allows you to search the internet anonymously and securely.

Related:  3 Best Phoenix VPN (Get a PHX IP Address) in 2024

It has a no-log privacy policy, so your online search results will not alter based on your search history; you won’t have to worry about clearing your record because it will be immediately removed.

Furthermore, Surfshark is a VPN provider that actually cares about its customers’ security.

As a result, it provides its customers with premium features like DNS and IP leak prevention, military-grade encryption, and a kill switch.

The kill switch is one of Surfshark VPN’s best features since it protects you when nothing else can.

When your VPN connection stops for whatever reason, Surfshark’s kill switch quickly disconnects your connection, protecting your traffic or data from being disclosed.

You simply need to go to this VPN’s settings and enable the kill switch button. Furthermore, we recommend that you keep it turned on at all times.

Surfshark VPN also uses a military-grade AES 256-bit encryption technology, which is the greatest level of encryption.

It ensures that all of your online actions and data are secure and hidden from your ISP or third parties.

It supports a number of security protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, Wireguard, L2TP, and Shadowsocks.

3. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN is another fantastic VPN provider on our list. It usually comes with an excellent free tier.

However, if you’re ready to pay a little monthly subscription cost, you can obtain more (features, security, and privacy).

As a result, it is a freemium service (a combination of free and premium VPN services).

Atlas VPN is a relatively new provider of VPN services. It is headquartered in the United States and is owned by Nord Security, a tech conglomerate that also owns Surfshark and NordVPN.

Atlas VPN was acquired by Nord Security in 2021; however, it continues to operate independently.

Despite its inexperience in the VPN industry, Atlas VPN has built a reputation for itself. To our astonishment, it is now regarded as one of the market’s leading providers.

The best part about Atlas VPN is that it has a free tier, which means you may use it even if you don’t want to pay for a VPN service.

Furthermore, as part of its ‘freemium’ business model, a number of exclusive services are restricted to consumers who pay for the Premium tier.

This contains the majority of servers, locations, and the quickest speeds, as well as Android and Amazon Fire TV apps.

Previously, there was no bandwidth limit on the free tier; currently, it’s 10GB per month.

However, in the case of mobile apps, you currently get 2GB each day on Android and iOS apps.

Furthermore, according to the latest news, Atlas VPN provider will soon alter it to the same 10GB monthly restriction, which might be beneficial or bad depending on your requirements.

Many individuals around the world use a VPN service to access content that isn’t available in their countries, such as streaming movies on Amazon or Netflix.

If you are one of them, Atlas VPN can help you. This VPN’s premium tier can unblock numerous streaming services, including BBC iPlayer and Disney+.

Furthermore, Atlas VPN permits the use of its service for P2P (Peer-to-Peer) downloads such as torrent files.

The service has over 750 servers and a network that spans 44 sites and 31 countries. Its VPN server coverage is best in Europe and worst in Asia.

Atlas VPN also features a cool new feature called SafeSwap servers, which are available in three different locations: Singapore, the Netherlands, and the United States.

Rather than providing you with a single IP address and keeping with it while your connection is active, this program constantly changes your IP address.

It gives you more privacy this way.

Atlas VPN has apps for Mac, Android, Windows, and iOS. However, no browser extensions are currently available.

Furthermore, premium customers have access to apps for Android TVs and Amazon’s Fire TV devices.

As a result, getting its subscription is always a preferable option so that you can enjoy it the most.

In addition, the VPN company situated in the United States includes two additional features: Tracker Blocker and Data Breach Monitor.

The first alerts you to potentially unsafe websites and assists in blocking tracking cookies and monitoring your online activities.

The other monitors your email address and warns you if it appears on the dark web.

4. ExpressVPN


With hundreds of VPN companies on the market today, it can be difficult for one to stand out.

But not with ExpressVPN because of its distinctive features, extensive server network coverage, and compatibility.

One thing is certain: whether you’re looking for a VPN for gaming, streaming, torrenting, or staying anonymous and safe online, this provider is up to the job.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a region known for its privacy and distance from the 14, 9, and 5 Eyes Alliances.

If you are unaware, these enormous alliances of several governments trade sensitive data and conduct widespread monitoring. Fortunately, the British Virgin Islands are not among them.

As a result, the British Virgin Islands is one of the greatest areas to use VPN services.

Because ExpressVPN is headquartered in this region, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your online actions are being monitored.

Aside from that, it has a strict no-logs policy, which adds to the service’s appeal.

Your sensitive information, such as user data, online traffic, DNS queries, and websites viewed, is not monitored or stored by the provider.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, maintains your initial account sign-up information, such as payment information and email address, in order to provide good services.

When it comes to encryption, ExpressVPN offers the best-in-class military-grade AES 256-bit encryption.

It is the highest level encryption algorithm, and it is used by government agencies and military personnel to secure sensitive data from hackers and third parties.


Some frequently asked questions related to ‘IPv4 vs IPv6’ are taken from the Internet.

IPv4 vs IPv6 Security: Which One Is Safer?

IPv6 was developed keeping security in mind; if implemented correctly, it’s way safer than IPv4.

Also, IPv6 has an in-build IP Security (IPSec), which is a part of IETF encryption protocols that promote security, data integrity, and authentication.

However, it’s possible to implement IPSec on IPv4, which can make IPv4 as secure as IPv6. But of course, it was very expensive. So, it hasn’t seen any widespread uptake.

We can say that when we look at IPv4 vs IPv6 on the basis of security, IPv6 wins.

IPv4 vs IPv6 Speed: Which One Is Faster?

As per reports, IPv6 is slightly faster than IPv4 as its cycles don’t need to be wasted on NAT translations.

But, it also has larger packets, because of which it can be a bit slower in some cases. However, there isn’t much difference in the speed between IPv4 and IPv6.

Can You Use IPv4 and IPv6 At the Same Time?

Yes, you obviously can use both IPv4 and IPv6 at the same time.

Though, it can be a bit challenging to run your online network on both IP address types. However, you can do so using dual-stack technology.


That’s all for today! In this post, we’ve talked about the much-needed topic “IPv4 vs IPv6.” From the above explanation, it’s clear that IPv6 is way superior to IPv4.

👉 Get NordVPN’s FREE Trial

Moreover, VPNs are also compatible with IPv6. So, if you’re planning to implement a VPN, we suggest NordVPN as it has everything one would ask from a good VPN service provider. 

Written by Colin Tan
Colin Tan is a tech entrepreneur and business leader with extensive experience in the technology industry. He is the Co-Founder of several successful tech startups that provide innovative solutions to businesses. Colin has a passion for creating disruptive technologies that can transform industries and drive growth.

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