What are the differences in performance for IPv4 and IPv6? Is there much of a difference in speed? and what are some of the methods that could be used to test this?

  • If you are using Internet or almost any computer network you will likely using IPv4 packets. IPv4 uses 32-bit source and destination addresses. The IPv6 packet doesn't look much like its IPv4 cousin, except for the leading version field. IPv6 addresses are 128-bits. The larger address space is one reason to migrate to IPv6 but there are many more differences that give IPv6 an advantage. For example, the header checksum field has been eliminated because transport reliability has gone up and its overhead was unnecessary. electronicdesign.com/embedded/… – Joey Miller Aug 23 '16 at 2:45
  • When playing World of Warcraft I have about 7-10% reduced latency on IPv6. (87-88ms vs 94-96ms) – Michael Hampton Aug 24 '16 at 1:58

Based on real-world Internet measurements by large companies, IPv6 has a slight edge in performance. This may be due to several reasons, such as the simplified packet header, or it may be due to other factors which have nothing to do with the protocol itself, such as more lightly loaded DNS servers.

As far as testing it yourself, it would be the same way you test anything else. Set up whatever applications you want to test, use each with each protocol, and perform measurements. There are far too many different applications which use both protocols to give you detailed tests, and each person has different ideas about what results to observe, and what they mean.

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    From some big websites (Facebook and LinkedIn) I have heard that IPv4 and IPv6 perform equally on fixed lines, but because more and more mobile operators run NAT64/DNS64 the IPv6 performance on those networks is 15% to 40% better than the IPv4 performance. Any performance difference is usually traceable to ugly hacks that are necessary to keep IPv4 going. IPv4 will keep working for the foreseeable future, but don't expect optimal performance with it. For that you need IPv6. – Sander Steffann Aug 20 '16 at 22:50
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    @SanderSteffann, yes I have heard of fairly large performance differences due to the kludges, but I was trying to exclude that from my answer. The documents given to my company show the slightest edge for IPv6 across the Internet. There are cases where it has a big performance advantage with some CDN networks, but those networks are less loaded with more modern equipment where IPv6 is used. – Ron Maupin Aug 20 '16 at 23:32

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