What is IPv6 and How to Disable IPv6 on Windows 10?

You may have heard about IPv6 by a friend or a colleague from the networking domain. Do you ever wonder, what is ipv6? What is ipv6 used for? What are the advantages of ipv6 and disadvantages of ipv6?

We will answer all these questions and more in today’s comprehensive guide on IPv6. so, without making you wait any more, let’s jump right in and learn what is ipv6 and how does it work? 

What is IPv6 and How Does It Work?

The internet protocol address or IP address as we know it is a unique address assigned to your device when you access the internet. There are two versions of these unique IPs. 

The IPv4 which consists of four number strings, each string containing three digits. This allows for a total of 4.2 billion unique IPs that can be assigned to the user. We know that there are over 7.2 billion people on this planet and even more devices connected to the internet and hence IPv4 won’t be sufficient for our needs. 

An IPv4 address looks something like this;

The IPv6, which is a newer technology, consists of eight number strings, each string containing four alphanumeric characters (Numbers as well as alphabets) which gives us almost infinite possibilities for unique IPs (Okay, technically not infinite but I’m not a mathematician am I? One of you perhaps is, let me know in the comments)    

An IPv6 address looks something like this; 2110:0db8:85a3:0000:a050:8a2e:0370:7334

IPv6 addresses are 128 bit long as opposed to 32 bits long which IPv4 are. Every IPv6 address consists of 8 16-bit chunks instead of 4 8-bit chunks as seen on IPv4. 

Even though the IPv6 protocol was established in 1998, it hasn’t caught up with the current trend and still remains somewhat elusive from the mainstream. 

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of IPv6?

IPv6 has its own set of advantages and disadvantages over IPv4. They are 

Advantages of IPv6Disadvantages of IPv6
Improved and Efficient Routing

IPv6 allows for hierarchical address allocation which makes the expansion of routing tables more efficient

Improved Security

IPv6 uses an improved authentication method which makes it overall more secure over IPv4

Improved Network capacity

IPv6 works with your network to improve the overall capacity by affixing and prefixing certain routes.

Support for Newer Services

IPv6 supports services like NAT makes it easier for peer to peer services to be maintained.

Efficient Flow of Data

IPv6 Allows large data packets to seamlessly flow simultaneously through the link to conserve bandwidth
Hampered Communication

IPv4 and IPv6 don’t communicate well with each other which causes issues in cases where they need to communicate with each other

Hard to Decipher

IPv6 is very hard to understand or decipher and even harder to memorize. In cases where you need to connect via the IP, IPv4 is much easier to use

Low Acceptance

Even though the technology has become old, the adaptation and acceptance for it is fairly low in certain places

Complex Network Topologies

Creating the network topology is painful on IPv6 due to all the prefixes and suffixes

Local Networking is Difficult

Manually changing local IPs, changing IP groups etc is fairly difficult due to the length of the IPs on IPv6
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Why Disable IPv6? [Common Reasons to Disable Ipv6]

There aren’t many good reasons to disable IPv6 from your system but there are a couple of reasons nonetheless. 

  • Your VPN is not working.
  • Your VPN is having issues tunneling your data safely.
  • You are unable to connect to ports from your VPN.
  • Disabling IPv6 ensures that no leak is taking place.
  • IPv6 also causes issues when communicating with IPv4.

How to Disable IPv6 on Windows 10 

Let’s take a look at two of the best ways to disable IPv6. these ways are –

Disable IPv6 via Network and Sharing Center

  • Press the Windows key and select settings from the start menu
  • In settings, go to Network & Internet
  • Click on the change adapter options button
  • A new window will open, right click on the network adapter and select properties
  • In the properties menu, scroll down till you see Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)
  • Make sure the box beside it is unchecked 
  • Click Apply to save the settings and repeat it with all the network adapters you have on your system
  • Reboot your computer

You should have disabled IPv6 by now on your system. You can confirm it by running the nslookup command in command prompts. 

Disable IPv6 using the Registry Editor

This is another method that you can use to disable IPv6. I personally don’t recommend this method as it is fairly risky. If you are sure of what you are doing then follow the steps below to disable IPv6 from the registry.

  • Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box
  • Type Regedit.exe and press enter to open the registry editor
  • Navigate to this location or copy this and paste in the file path

  • Once you reach the location, on the right side right click and click on new then select DWORD (32-Bit) value and name it as DisabledComponents then press enter to save it
  • Once saved, you will see it on the right side, select it and right click on it and click modify
  • Set the value of it to FF then click ok to save
  • Reboot your system to check if IPv6 is disabled correctly

This is a method that’s a bit dangerous, only try it if you are confident in your troubleshooting abilities. 

Is It Okay to Disable IPv6? Will Disabling IPv6 Cause Problems?

In all honesty, you shouldn’t disable IPv6 from your system. Many large players such as Microsoft recommend that you keep IPv6 functional. The adoption of IPv6 is growing rapidly and has currently reached a stage where it is fairly stable in most developed nations. 

It is okay to disable IPv6 and it shouldn’t cause any issues as such, but in the long run, you may face issues with connectivity once IPv6 becomes the norm. If you want to disable IPv6 primarily to help with local networking then you can disable it without causing issues.

My View on Disabling IPv6 on Windows 10

I don’t really see IPv6 as a troublemaker in most scenarios and I think you shouldn’t disable IPv6 unless it is actively causing some sort of error or issue on your system.

That being said, IPv6 does have some pros and cons over IPv4 and we have compiled this article to help you make an informed decision. I hope this guide taught you how to disable ipv6 and answer all your questions regarding IPv6. If you have any more questions for us or want help with another topic then feel free to let us know from the comment below.