Empirical Performance of IPv6 vs. IPv4

 under a Dual-Stack Environment





 Measurement Setup

 Dual-Stack List


 Hop Count



 OS Dependence

 IPv6 Address


 IPv6 Tunnel




 Internal Access



This test uses the same set of results in the Connectivity Test to investigate the response times for ping packets to various dual-stack sites. The response times provide an indication of the quality-of-service experienced by a user in the IPv6/IPv4 networks. Our results in Figs. 4 and 5 show that the IPv6 RTTs are higher than the IPv4 RTTs. The average values of the IPv6 RTT and IPv4 RTT are 403.36ms and 272.78ms respectively. At first glance, the RTT results seemed to contradict the hop count results in the Hop Count Test, where we reported the hop counts of IPv6 paths to be lower compared to IPv4 paths. In general, lower hop counts translate to lower RTT for a path. However, due to the fact that the number of IPv6 nodes and its concentration are lower and less dense compared to IPv4 nodes, and that the direct link connectivity of the IPv6 networks is lower compared to IPv4 networks, there is a high likelihood that IPv6 packets need to travel a longer distance between successive hops compared to IPv4 packets (the IPv6 paths are significantly longer compared to that of IPv4 paths). The longer propagation delay experienced by IPv6 packets translates to higher IPv6 RTTs compared to IPv4 RTTs. Our results also agree with the results reported in previous works by [9] and [5] where the IPv6 RTTs are reported to be higher than IPv4 RTTs. In [9], the results show that the average IPv6 and IPv4 RTT values are 409.80ms and 281.84ms respectively, which match closely with our RTT results. Conversely, in [1], their results show that the IPv6 RTTs are smaller than IPv4 RTTs. This could be due to their different measurement setup and location.

Fig. 4. IPv6-IPv4 RTT Results


Fig. 5. Distribution of the IPv6-IPv4 RTT Results