Connecting IPv4 with IPv6

Intro

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) address is what most people are familiar with if they have surfed the Internet before. This is the IP address that allows you to communicate with web servers to get web pages and also send emails as well as instant messages.

Example of an IPv4 address: 34.224.172.222

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) address is the newer version of IPv4. Due the many performance and security features inside the specification for IPv6, this unfortunately means you cannot communicate directly with an IPv6 network if you’re on an IPv4 network and vice-versa.

Example of an IPv6 address: 2600:1f18:45b0:5b00:f5d8:4183:7710:ceec

 

Transition period for migration to IPv6 using dual stack networking

Due to the heavy cost and infrastructure investments required to fully migrate network users to IPv6, most ISPs chose the middle ground of deploying dual stack networking equipment. Such routers/switches have the ability to communicate with both IPv4 and IPv6 networks so it doesn’t matter if their users are only capable of IPv4 or IPv6. This means existing computers can still be used until it is time to replace them which also keeps the migration cost down to a minimum for users.

 

IPv6 tunneling

If the network you’re on haven’t been upgraded to support IPv6 then one of the more common alternatives is to use an IPv6 tunnel which you can get from an IPv6 tunnel broker. When using an IPv6 tunnel, the IPv6 data packets are encapsulated inside IPv4 data packets so that the data can travel through IPv4 networks without any problems.

A very popular tunnel broker is Hurricane Electric which has tunnels in geographically diverse locations (Dubai, Sydney, Ashburn, Calgary, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fremont, Honolulu, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, New York, Palo Alto, Phoenix, San Jose, Seattle, Toronto, Winnipeg, Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London, Paris, Prague, Stockholm, Warsaw, Zurich, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Bogota, Djibouti City, and Johannesburg). For best performance, you should pick the one closest to your location.

List of IPv6 tunnel brokers

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