Comparison Between IPV4 & IPV6 [UniFi]

Recently , TM decided to roll out native IPV6 for its users. Currently UniFi and Streamyx users are able to get IPV6 Addresses if their ‘port’ supports it. In this article , basically we would take a look if there are any advantages of using IPV6 over IPV4 currently.

 

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I’ll be taking a look at everyday usage to see if there is an improvement in our Internet Usage. Keep in mind that this is not a full technical test , I’ll be just doing simple tests and observations on TM’s IPV6 . I will be also giving you a brief explanation of IPV6 and the advantages .

More after the jump

 

The Need for IPV6

Basically , we have ran out of IPV4 addresses , and this is where IPV6 comes in. Think of the limitation of having 4GB of RAM in 32-bit OS , it is exactly the same. We have ‘reached the limit’ and in order to move we need IPV6 . You could read the in-depth explanation from Softlayer here 

Advantages of IPV6 over IPV4

The main advantage of IPV6 is that you’ll be getting rid of NAT. In other words you don’t need to do port forwarding , which makes it easier if you plan to host web-sites or gaming server. In fact you could host multiple gaming servers (i.e server 1/server 2) with own IPV6 addresses of course.

Another advantage is that IPV6 offers more efficient packet processing. Compared to IPV4 , IPV6 contains no IP-level checksum , so no need to recalculate checksum at every hop. This should translate to lower latency for gamers and all

Of course there are other advantages as well which you can check it out from this article. I am just highlighting the 2 main advantages that people would notice once they switch to IPV6

Configuring for IPV6

If you like to setup IPV6 , head over to lowyat and visit this thread. There are some guides included on how to configure for certain routers. Keep in mind that your router needs to support IPV6 Stack. Most newer routers do , but some may not even support. Alternatively you may use third-party firmware such as DD-WRT to enable IPV6 support . I would not be going in-depth in configuring IPV6 as it varies from one router to another.

Keep in mind IPV6 may not be enabled in all the areas , TM is rolling in stages. It would take them some time to fully roll out to all the areas in Malaysia

If you are using other broadband services such as Maxis/DiGI/Celcom/P1 , then you may sign up for a IPV6 Tunnel by MCMC/SKMM , for more information , check out MCMC/SKMM Site for details

Gaming Test

Lets see how IPV6 flares compared to IPV4. In order for me to do an apple to apple comparison , I would need a game which supports IPV6 and IPV4. Therefore for this test , I’ve decided to use World of Warcraft as WoW is capable of both IPV6/IPV4 and i think in fact it is one of the few multiplayer games which supports IPV6

I did a simple test , basically I logged on  - I’m playing in Barthilas (US West Coast Server). Got into Timeless Isle and decided to capture the latency. You can take a look at the full screenshots below for the comparison of IPV6 and IPV4

World of Warcraft -IPV6

World of Warcraft -IPV6 – Take note of the reduced ping time < 200ms

World of Warcraft -IPV4

World of Warcraft -IPV4 – the ping time seems to be around 350ms+

To sum it up here is the comparison between IPV6 and IPV4. The difference seem to be huge. So I decided to investigate further , it seems to be the route that IPV4 and IPV6 takes. For some strange reason , for IPV4 traffic is routed via Europe before going to America. As for IPV6 , it goes straight from Hong Kong to US , therefore offering better latencyipv4_ipv6_wow

Of course I was not able to test other games such as First Person Shooter. Do let me know if there are any games which supports IPV6. I do know that UT 2004 supports IPV6 , but I do not own that game , hence I am unable to comment about it

Speed Test

I did a speed test over at IPV6-test. This is because they offer speed tests for both IPV4 and IPV6 , so that you could compare the speeds. I did two speed tests and both times , IPV6 is the winner. The difference is day and night. I am still suspecting that it is due to routing and how traffic in IPV4 and IPV6 are being routed.

 

speedtest1 speedtest2

 

Ping Test

Again the folks at IPV6-Test did offer a ping test which I did. I just let it run for 3 minutes to determine on the latency. If you notice for IPV4 , the latency seems to be much more consistent as opposed to IPV6. However for IPV6 , the latency seems to be lower. This test however does not reflect the results of the gaming test which I did , which seems to indicate that IPV6 is offering a far more better latency compared to this ping test.

ipv6_ipv4_ping

 

Torrent Downloads

Well at this moment , torrent speeds are pretty great. It is probably because you do not have to worry about any port forwarding and secondly no traffic shaping is taking place as IPV6 is still in early stages and there are not many people using it yet. So currently if you have seeders and peers who are on IPV6 , you could enjoy a much better speed compared to say IPV4. Torrent clients such as Deluge and uTorrent do support IPV6 trackers/seeders and peers. As long as you have IPV6 enabled on your PC , you do not have to worry about it !

Sorry no screenshots , do not want to get into any legal trouble :P

 

Conclusion 

For you and me , the difference is pretty obvious , especially that you can get to torrent at much better speeds and do not have to worry about being filtered by ISP. Not to mention that gamers would be getting a better latency. Overall , there is an advantage of using IPV6 over IPV4. However things may change in the future as still IPV6 in Malaysia is on its infancy and there aren’t any major players who have hopped on IPV6 bandwagon yet.

If you get the chance or have the right devices , enable IPV6 and take it for a spin. Do share your results with me if it did give you a improvement or not. I would love to hear from you

 

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