IPv4 versus IPv6


In theory, IPv4 or IPv6 should make little to no difference to the available internet speed. IPv6 could even be faster than IPv4.

However tests show that IPv6 is currently no faster than IPv4.



  1. Introduction
  2. Method of measurement
  3. The measurements
  4. Conclusions


14 July 2017 the IPv6 standard is ratified as an official internet standard. This is the succesor of the IPv4 standard.

Nowadays both standards are used. With a tool like ip6.me you are able to see if your system works with IPv6.

Speedtest4 and Speedtest6

Sometimes a speed test that should only work with IPv4 is also called a speedtest4 speed test (not to be confused with speedtest4.php, a malfunctioning speed test), and a speed test that should only work with IPv6 is called speedtest6.

However, this makes no sense. For most speed tests, it doesn't matter which internet protocol is used. That is every speed test works fine with IPv4 and IPv6.

Although there are some speed tests like IPv4 / IPv6 - HTML5 Speedtest (based on Librespeed) and IPv6 test that test your internet speed with a specific protocol.

Using such speed tests give you the option to test both internet protocols yourself.

According to Privacysavvy (Interestingly, IPv4 and IPv6 produced similar speeds of indirect connections during our tests. In fact, IPv4 was slightly faster on some occasions), a superuser (Practical impact? Not really. The effect is pretty small), Infoblox (Depending on the nature of your applications, operating system, network equipment, and Internet connectivity, IPv6 might actually be slower for you than IPv4) and Securi blog (IPv4 and IPv6 performance are pretty much equal) is the internet speed with IPv4 generally almost the same as with IPv6.

It's high time we tested whether the internet protocol affects your internet speed.


Method of measurement

For this test we use the speed test of IPv6 test (location Germany - Limburg)

For reference, we will test 3 times with M-Lab before and after the actual test.

The test is run 7 times (with a wired computer and one user on an updated system).


The measurements

  1. M-Lab: 100.12 Mbps
  2. M-Lab: 99.69 Mbps
  3. M-Lab: 99.60 Mbps
  4. IPv4 speed: 94.9 Mbps, IPv6 speed: 93.6 Mbps
  5. IPv4 speed: 94.8 Mbps, IPv6 speed: 93.5 Mbps
  6. IPv4 speed: 94.5 Mbps, IPv6 speed: 92.9 Mbps
  7. IPv4 speed: 94.6 Mbps, IPv6 speed: 93.6 Mbps
  8. IPv4 speed: 94.7 Mbps, IPv6 speed: 93.1 Mbps
  9. IPv4 speed: 94.7 Mbps, IPv6 speed: 93.4 Mbps
  10. IPv4 speed: 94.8 Mbps, IPv6 speed: 93.3 Mbps
  11. M-Lab: 99.67 Mbps
  12. M-Lab: 100.07 Mbps
  13. M-Lab: 100.05 Mbps


According to M-Lab the median of the to be measured internet speed is be rounded 100 Mpbs.

The median of the IPv4 speed is 94.7 Mbps, with a standard deviation of 0.1 Mbps, while the median of the IPv6 speed is 93.4 Mbps, with a standard deviation of 0.3 Mbps.

The IPv4 speed test structurally gives a (5%) lower speed than the M-Lab speed test.

The IPv4 speed test structurally gives a (1%) higher speed than the IPv6 speed test.

We cannot conclude that IPv6 offers higher internet speeds than IPv4. On the contrary: IPv4 seems to be faster than IPv6 in early 2024.