Yes, IPv6 is the modern server standard. However, you probably don't need to hop on it yet. As of now, IPv4 maintains a dominant market share. If you try buying a proxy now, it'd most likely run the IPv4 protocol.
Since both protocol standards are readily available, deciding which proxy to choose can be daunting. But IPv6 is growing, and more providers are adopting the standard because it's an obvious improvement on IPv4. Hence, this article compares the essential things you need to know about IPv4 proxy and IPv6 proxy.
Defining IPv4 and IPv6 Proxies
What is an IPv4 Proxy?
The IPv4 proxy defines a data center or residential system's IP address that supports the IPv4 protocol. The 'v4' in the name shows that it's the IP protocol's fourth version.
The IPv4 is the first protocol version to go public, as the preceding three versions – IPv1, IPv2, and IPv3 – were only for testing purposes.
On the IPv4 standard, addresses are four parts of numbers separated by periods. For instance, 192.168.17.40. The numbers in each part of the address can range from 0 to 255. Hence, there can only be 4,294,967,296 unique addresses.
But in a world where relatively anything can be connected to the internet, and each device needs a unique IP address, ~4.3 billion addresses are no longer enough. Hence, the need for IPv6.
What is an IPv6 Proxy?
The IPv6 proxy defines a data center or residential system's IP address that supports the IPv6 protocol. The 'v6' in the name shows that it's the IP protocol's sixth version.
This sixth version of the IP protocol was launched in 2012 with the primary purpose of supplying an unlimited supply of IP addresses. Unlike IPv4, which uses numbers and periods, IPv6 uses hexadecimal and colons. Hence, an IPv6 address looks like this: 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.
These addresses are longer, and because the system uses hexadecimal, 340 unique undecillion addresses are possible. Technically, unlimited.
Beyond providing unlimited IP addresses, IPv6 has several other benefits, like simpler systems, better security, improved performance, etc. However, IPv4 is still in common use. So, let's compare IPv4 and IPv6 to find out why.
Comparing IPv4 and IPv6
IPv4 and IPv6 proxies have similarities and differences. To choose which one to adopt, carefully read through the following.
Similarities between IPv4 Proxy and IPv6 Proxy
IPv4 and IPv6 proxies are designed to help mask the users' IP addresses from the network they visit. Hence, they both provide anonymity when accessing a network. Furthermore, both proxies are designed to work with the IPv4 standard. IPv4 proxies naturally work with IPv4 IP addresses, while IPv6 proxies easily transition IP addresses from IPv4 to IPv6.
Circumventing IP restrictions
IPv4 and IPv6 proxies help users access networks and platforms that initially restrict them. The proxies also give access to geo-restricted internet content. Hence, once the proxy you use is permitted to access content from a country, you also can access the content once connected to the proxy.
Differences between IPv4 Proxy and IPv6 Proxy
IPv4 Proxy IPv6 Proxy
They work only with the IPv4 standard They work with Ipv6 standards and can translate IP addresses from IPv4 to IPv6.
They are still in wider adoption despite their limitations Not yet as adopted as the IPv4 standard
Less secure than IPv6 More secure than IPv4
Residential IPv4 proxies providers are common Residential IPv6 proxy providers are less common
Internet routing is inferior compared to IPv6 Enjoys superior and more efficient internet traffic routing approach
IPv4 proxies are suited for all devices IPv6 proxies are best suited for mobile devices
IPv4 proxies suffer some degree of latency IPv6 proxies reduce latency, which makes them great for gaming and streaming.
Which Proxy Version is best for your Network?
Technically, the best proxy to use depends on your needs. IPv4 and IPv6 proxies have their trade-offs. Hence, it's somewhat tricky to point outright to the one that's better to use. Hence, we'd look at both pros and cons, which will help you see which is better for you.
Advantages and disadvantages of IPv4 proxies
It uses lower memory cache space to save and retrieve IP addresses
Numerous devices use IPv4, so it's easier to get support
Since IPv4 has been in existence for a while, it's gotten better security resources
It doesn't have excellent internet routing capability like IPv6
It costs more than IPv6
Advantages and disadvantages of IPv6 proxies
The network distribution format – multicast – makes IPv6 proxies faster
Enjoys better security
Has better performance
It's not commonly used
Some glitches may still occur when trying to communicate with IPv4 devices.
Considering both proxies, it's easy to see that if you want performance and cost-saving, the better option is IPv6 proxies. Though, you'd have to trade off support. However, if you want a tried-and-true proxy and enjoy great support, IPv4 is your best bet. If you want to see an example of what IPv4 can offer, check it out here.
Personal proxy users prefer IPv4 because there are readily available quality residential addresses to use. IPv6 proxies are great for organizations because of their performance. However, before using any proxy for your device, confirm what protocol it supports.