Using an IPv6 proxy lets you take advantage of the latest versions of IP addresses when using your proxy for streaming or other activities. If you are considering using an IPv6 proxy, then you should take a few minutes to understand what this is and how it compares to an IPv4 proxy.

What Are IPv6 IP Addresses?

IPv6 addresses are the latest versions of IP addresses. This type of address will eventually replace IPv4 addresses. IPv6 addresses have actually been around for about a decade, but most people do not realize this due to their slow adoption. The number of websites, developers, and ISPs using IPv6 addresses is increasing slowly, but they are still new to some people.

Types of IPv6 Addresses

You should also know that there are several types of IPv6 addresses. Unicast addresses are unique nodes on networks, typically just one receiver or sender. Multicast addresses are for a group of devices and can just be the destination for datagrams. Anycast addresses belong to interface sets with multiple nodes.

Why Is Global Networking Transitioning to IPv6 IP Addresses?

The main reason for the transition to IPv6 IP addresses is the scarcity of addresses. This comes from the increasing demand for IP addresses. IPv4 addresses, which IPv6 addresses replace, are 32 bits. By comparison, IPv6 addresses are 128 bits, meaning that they can support 2^128 addresses, which is 3.4 x 10^38. In other words, there are exponentially more IP addresses available with IPv6 compared to IPv4.

The increase in available addresses becomes crucial as the demand for IP addresses continues to increase. That is especially important as the trend shows no stopping as mobile technology advances. Every wireless device needs to connect to the internet, and most of those have their own IP address.

Network Address Translation

One of the workarounds for the limited number of IPv4 addresses was network address translation (NAT), but IPv6 eliminates the need for this. Using NAT essentially creates one public IP address that a larger number of devices use but segmented into private addresses. While NAT is good in theory, there are problems with it that discourage its use.

The biggest problem is that NAT breaks the protocols requiring incoming connections and those carrying IP addresses. VoIP phones, for example, cannot work properly with NAT because it needs a specific public address to send VoIP packets, too. Overcoming that is possible but requires extra effort. By contrast, the entire issue can be avoided by using IPv6 to produce more than enough IP addresses for everyone.

Other Benefits of IPv6 Addresses

In addition to the need for more IP addresses, the switch to IPv6 comes with other benefits. These addresses tend to have faster speeds, routing efficiency, enhanced encryption, higher website conversion, improved insights for businesses, improved user experiences, global reachability, and stricter security.

IPv4 vs. IPv6

The biggest differences between IPv4 vs. IPv6 is how the IP addresses are written and how many unique ones can exist, with the latter being a result of the former. IPv4 addresses are written in dotted decimal, but IPv6 addresses use hexadecimal. Hexadecimal numbers use 4 bits, so IPv6 addresses have 32 hexadecimal numbers. Each of those numbers is in a group of four with a total of eight groups, also known as blocks.

ipv6 proxy

How to Tell If Your IP Is IPv4 or IPv6?

You can look at your IP address to complete an IPv6 test and tell whether it is an IPv4 or IPv6. An IPv6 address will appear as group1:group2:….:group8, which each group consisting of four numbers. There are a few shortening techniques used when writing out IPv6 addresses due to their length. One of these is changing a group of 0000 to 0. So, an example of an IPv6 address could be 1234:abab:5678:9012:abcb:3456:7890:1234.

IPv4 addresses have a very different format. They appear as 123.123.123.123 or something similar. This allows for 4.2 billion unique combinations.

Of course, to tell whether you have an IPv4 or IPv6 address, you need to find the IP address first. Once you see it, it will be obvious which type of address it is. You can find your IP address via any number of tools online. Alternatively, you can look at the settings for your router. On a Windows device, go to the Command Prompt (cmd), then type “ipconfig/all” and click “Enter.” Look at the “Default Gateway.” On a Mac, go to System Preferences under the Apple icon. Choose Network and you will find the “Default Gateway” next to “Router.”

You can copy and paste this into your browser’s address bar and enter the username and password. The public IP address should be on the Config/Status page.

How to Activate an IPv6 Proxy on Your Computer

Before you can activate an IPv6 proxy on your computer, you need to ensure that you have IPv6 activated on your device. As long as your computer is from the last several years, you should have the option to enable or disable IPv6 with ease.

Enable IPv6 on Windows

If you use a Windows device, start by going to the Notification Area of the computer and right-click on your Network icon. From there, choose “Open Network and Sharing Center.” On the left part of the window, click “Change adapter settings.” Right-click on the currently active network connection. Choose “Properties.” Look at the list under “This connection uses the following items” and click the checkbox next to “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).” Click “OK” and close everything.

Enable IPv6 on Mac

To enable IPv6 on your Mac, start by going to the Apple menu and choosing “System Preferences.” From there, select “Network.” Choose either Wi-Fi or Ethernet, then select “Advanced.” From there, you can choose “TCP/IP.” A pop-up menu will appear to let you configure the IPv6 settings. Select “Manually” and enter the relevant information, including the IPv6 address, prefix length, and router address.

IPv6 Tunneling

You can also use IPv6 tunneling to activate IPv6 on your device and connect to an IPv6 proxy. Tunneling is a method that lets you use your current IPv4 routing infrastructure with your IPv6 traffic. IPv6 tunneling lets businesses and other organizations use IPv6 addresses on their IPv4 routers and hosts, streamlining the transition to IPv6.

Use Cases for IPv6 IPs

IPv6 IPs are a great choice for a full range of users, from those who connect to the internet at home to those who use it for professional purposes. Network engineers, tech companies, mobile carriers, and data centers should all consider using IPv6 addresses. They are also extremely useful for managing social media accounts, SEO strategies, SERP tracking, and scraping. It makes sense for businesses and individuals to make the switch to IPv6 now since they will likely have to do so at some point. The technology is already there and strong enough to provide reliability. As such, there is no real benefit in waiting.

Buying IPv6 Proxies from Established Providers vs. Free Proxies

One of the simplest ways to transition to IPv6 addresses is via an IPv6 proxy. This lets you get IPv6 addresses seamlessly and with minimal effort on your part. As the name implies, an IPv6 proxy is a proxy that gives you an IPv6 address instead of an IPv4 one. You will notice that you can buy IPv6 proxy services or get them for free. How do you choose which of these routes to take?

Pros and Cons of Free Proxies

The biggest advantage of a free proxy, including a free IPv6 proxy, is that you will not have to pay anything. This makes the proxy easy to fit into your budget, either for personal use or business-wide use. This also gives you the ability to switch to another proxy provider whenever you want, as there will be no cancellation fee. Free IPv6 proxies still provide privacy online and give you access to an IPv6 address.

Free services are never as high-quality as their paid counterparts. In the case of IPv6 proxies, this means that you will not get as much reliability, privacy, or confidence. It is much more likely for a free proxy to stop working or go under than a private one; after all, it has minimal income. It may become a paid proxy or just disappear completely. Even when they exist, free proxies are more likely to have network failures. This can leave you temporarily unprotected, with anyone able to view your IP address.

The biggest risk with free proxies is your security. The person or company running the free proxy need to make a profit somehow. Ad revenue can pull in some funds, but some free proxies may also resort to less scrupulous methods, such as infecting your computer with viruses. There is also a risk that you will share an IP address with someone engaging in illegal behavior, putting you at risk from a legal standpoint.

Pros and Cons of Paid Proxies from Established Providers

About the only disadvantage of a paid proxy from an established provider is that you will have to pay for it. You will get reassurance that the IPv6 proxy is safe and reliable. You can increase those benefits even more by choosing a proxy with a strong reputation and a history of providing quality services.

Paid proxies also tend to be quicker and have additional services or value-added features included. Because they have more resources at their disposal, established providers can guarantee a better uptime. This way, your important work is never interrupted by a network outage that sacrifices your privacy.

Paid proxies will also add value in other ways to attract clients and ensure they stay satisfied. For example, the best ones can guarantee that you get a new IPv6 address that has not been used by anyone else in the past. This eliminates the risk of you being connected to illegal or questionable activities that someone else engaged in at your IP address.

The Bottom Line

An IPv6 proxy gives you access to the latest form of IP addresses while protecting your privacy online. The proxies can help with social media account management and a full range of other use cases, including for personal use.