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The IPv6 header has a new format that is designed to minimize header overhead. This is achieved by moving both nonessential fields and option fields to extension headers that are placed after the IPv6 header. The streamlined IPv6 header provides more efficient processing at intermediate routers.

IPv4 headers and IPv6 headers are not interoperable and the IPv6 protocol is not backward compatible with the IPv4 protocol. A host or router must use an implementation of both IPv4 and IPv6 in order to recognize and process both header formats. The new IPv6 header is only twice as large as the IPv4 header, even though IPv6 addresses are four times as large as IPv4 addresses.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Can someone show examples of the old IPv6 header and compare it to the new IPv6 header?

    2012-09-23 19:30:50 (Mike Wolf See Profile)

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by Optimized See Profile
last modified: 2004-02-28 11:33:09