IPv4 vs. IPv6: Which One is Faster?

Ruheni Mathenge  - Streaming Expert
Last updated: October 28, 2023
Read time: 12 minutes

What makes IPv6 different than IPv4? Will we be forced to switch protocols enabling us to connect to the internet? Learn all there is to know about IPv4 vs. IPv6 in this article.


Computers and other devices communicate on the internet via a specific set of numerical identifiers called IP (Internet Protocol) address. Today, there are two primary functional IPs – IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) and IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). IPv4 was launched in 1981, offering 32-bit 4.3 billion IP addresses. However, the limited number of IPs led to the invention of IPv6 addresses that employ more numbers and thus offered more 128-bit IP addresses than IPv4. Although IPv6 is more advantageous than IPv4, the world’s online traffic routes via IPv4 technology. Read this guide to learn more about IPv4 vs. IPv6 internet protocols and how each works.

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a set of numbers that enables computers and other devices to communicate on the Internet. That means sending or receiving information online without the IP address is impossible.

Currently, there are two main IP types – IPv4 and IPv6. What is the difference between the two? How does each function? This article will compare IPv4 and IPv6 in detail and show how to protect your online connections.

What is IPv4?

Internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) was introduced in 1981 as the fourth internet protocol version. However, despite the advent of IPv6, most of the world’s traffic is routed through IPv4. The protocol uses a 32-bit address supporting more than 4 billion IP addresses.

Usually, an IPv4 address contains four numbers ranging from 0 to 255, separated by full stops. Most likely, your current IP address is an IPv4 address.

Here is a typical example of an IPv4 address “”