IPv4 vs. IPv6 Proxies: What is the Difference?

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Considering the shift to IPv6? It may be premature for proxy users.

Overview: IPv4 and IPv6 Proxies

In today’s digital landscape, IPv4 continues to be the prevailing IP protocol. When you’re in the market for proxy servers, odds are you’ll come across those based on IPv4. However, IPv6-based proxy networks are gradually gaining traction. This guide aims to elucidate the contrasts between IPv4 and IPv6 proxies and the implications of choosing one over the other.

The Essence of an IP Address

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a numerical label that uniquely identifies devices connected to the internet. This label is allocated whether you are using a wired connection, Wi-Fi, cellular networks, or any other form of internet connectivity. It acts as an identifier that enables devices to interact with each other on the web.

IP Address Formats:

TypeFormat ExampleCharacter Set
IPv4192.168.17.40Numbers 0-255

What is an IPv4 Proxy?

An IPv4 proxy utilizes the IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) standard. As the “v4” implies, this is the fourth iteration of the IP protocol. The IPv4 protocol has been the cornerstone of public internet since its inception, and its address space allows for approximately 4.3 billion unique IP addresses.

Limitations of IPv4:

  1. Address Shortage: The major drawback of IPv4 is its limited address space. As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, 4.3 billion addresses are insufficient.
  2. Virgin Proxies Myth: With the scarcity of IPv4 addresses, the notion of ‘virgin’ or unused IPs is largely a marketing ploy.

Significance of Mobile Proxies

Due to the address scarcity, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have resorted to techniques like Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT). This is particularly prevalent in mobile networks. CGNAT allows the mapping of multiple private network addresses to a single public IP address.

Advantages of Mobile Proxies:

  1. Less Likely to be Blocked: When multiple users share a single IP, banning that IP can impact numerous users, making mobile IPs less prone to blocking.
  2. Optimized for Mobile-First Platforms: Major platforms like Instagram and Facebook design their services with mobile users in mind, making mobile proxies even more valuable.

What is an IPv6 Proxy?

An IPv6 proxy is an intermediary that employs the IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) standard. Introduced in 2012, IPv6 was designed to mitigate the limitations of IPv4, chiefly its lack of address space. IPv6 boasts an address capacity of approximately 340 undecillion unique addresses, effectively eliminating the scarcity issue.

Why IPv6 Adoption Lags:

  1. Incompatibility: IPv6 is not backward-compatible with IPv4, necessitating a comprehensive overhaul of internet infrastructure.
  2. Website Support: 71% of Alexa’s top 500 websites, including giants like Amazon and Twitter, are yet to support IPv6.

Availability of Residential IPv6 Proxies

As of now, major residential proxy providers have yet to offer IPv6-based solutions, although niche providers may exist in specialized forums like BlackHatWorld. Generally, service providers steer clear of incorporating IPv6 into their proxy pools.

Is IPv6 the Right Choice for Proxy Servers?

While IPv6 datacenter proxies are cheaper and more plentiful, they come with their own set of drawbacks.

Cons of IPv6 Proxies:

  1. Limited Website Compatibility: Many websites still operate solely on IPv4.
  2. Range Blocking: If one IPv6 address from a subnet gets blacklisted, it’s common for the entire range to be banned.


In the current landscape, IPv4 proxies offer broader website support and higher-quality residential addresses. For the foreseeable future, IPv4 remains the most reliable choice for proxy users. Therefore, the allure of ‘virgin’ IPv6 proxies should be taken with a grain of skepticism.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on IPv4 vs. IPv6 Proxies

An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique numerical identifier that is assigned to devices when they connect to the internet. This address is essential for devices to locate each other and establish a connection over the internet.

A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet. It forwards your web requests and returns the responses, effectively masking your original IP address.

Proxy servers offer various benefits such as anonymity, improved security, faster loading times via caching, and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions or access-blocked websites.

An IPv4 proxy uses the fourth version of the Internet Protocol (IPv4) to route your internet traffic. It remains the most widely used IP protocol for now, despite its limitations, such as the scarcity of available addresses.

An IPv6 proxy uses the sixth version of the Internet Protocol (IPv6). This protocol was developed to solve the limitations of IPv4, primarily its limited number of available addresses.

The primary reason is incompatibility. IPv6 is not backward-compatible with IPv4, requiring a complete overhaul of existing internet infrastructure for universal adoption.

As of now, major residential proxy providers do not offer IPv6-based solutions. However, some specialized vendors might offer them on platforms like BlackHatWorld.

Mobile proxies use technologies like Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT) that map multiple private network addresses to a single public IP. This makes these IPs less likely to be blocked and highly effective for mobile-first platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

IPv4 proxies offer better website compatibility and are generally more reliable. IPv6 proxies are cheaper but come with limitations such as limited website support and the risk of range blocking.

The term ‘virgin’ refers to unused proxy IPs. While this term is often used in marketing, the scarcity of IPv4 addresses makes it nearly impossible to find genuinely virgin IPv4 proxies.

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By providing this extensive Knowledge Base, OneProxy aims to equip you with the tools and information you need to optimize your experience with proxy servers and our service offerings. Feel free to reach out to our Customer Service for any additional queries.

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