Can I use IPv6 and IPv4 on the same wire?

asked 11 Nov '11, 10:02

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aid
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Yes, you can.

Back when the IPv4 packet format was first defined, the first entry in the packet was stated to be the IP version number used by that packet. All IPv4 packets therefore start with '4'. IPv6 continues to use the IP version number as its first field - therefore all IPv6 packets start with '6'.

Devices use this first number in the packet to determine if and how they should process the packet.

IPv4 only devices will simply drop any IPv6 packets they receive as the version number at the start of the packet (6) will be different to what they expect (4).

Devices that support both IPv4 and IPv6 - known as dual-stack systems - will accept packets with version numbers of either 4 or 6 - passing the '4' packets to the system's IPv4 stack and the '6' packets to the system's IPv6 stack.

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answered 11 Nov '11, 10:28

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aid
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Whenever IPv6 packet has to be travel along IPv4 network, tunneling can be used(IPv6 packet encapsulated inside IPv4 packet). The source and destination of IPv4 packet can be source & destination addresses of the IPv6 to IPv4 tunnel. The tunnel end points encapsulate and remove encapsulation of the packet and give it to IPv6 stack.

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answered 19 Nov '11, 17:06

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Fahad Ahmed
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Asked: 11 Nov '11, 10:02

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Last updated: 14 May '13, 09:24

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