Transition from IPv4 to IPv6 - Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

Explain the transition from IPv4 to IPv6

Sine IPv6 is not backward compatible, complete transition from IPv4 to IPv6 might not be possible resulting in a situation where a site may be on or may not be on IPv6. It is not similar to that of implanting any other new technologies where the newer one is backward compatible and hence the older system can be worked with simultaneously with the new version without additional changes.

To ensure a slow and smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6, a few technologies are provided. Some of them are:

Dual Stack Routers

Pointing to the network of the relevant IP scheme, a router can be installed by configuring both IPv4 and IPv6 on the interface.

Dual Stack Router

The above diagram displays that a server is having both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses configured and all the hosts can be accesses on both IPv4 and IPv6 networks by using Dual Stack Router. Both the networks can be communicated by the Dual Stack Router facilitating a medium for the hosts for accessing the server by keeping the respective IP versions unchanged.


When IP versions exist on the intermediate path or in the transit networks, a better solution is provided by Tunneling. Tunneling facilitates in passing of the data through a non-supported IP version.


From the diagram it is represented that two remote IPv4 networks use a Tunnel to communicate and the transit network was on IPv6. There is a possibility of vice versa where the IPv6 has the transit network and the IPv4 communicates with the remote sites.

NAT Protocol Translation

Transition can also be done by using a NAT-PT (Network Address Translation – Protocol Translation) enabled device. The actual transition happens between IPv4 and IPv6 packets and vice versa as depicted below:


A request is sent to an IPv6 enabled server on the Internet by a host of IPv4. In such instances, NAT-PT device helps in communicating. When a request packet is sent to IPv6 server by the IPv4, the IPv4 packet is tripped down and removed and IPv6 header is added and passed through the internet. When IPv4 host receives the response from IPv6, vice versa is performed by the router.

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Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) Topics