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Dual-stack network

Dual-stack network

Dual-stack network definition

A dual-stack network is a networking environment that supports the simultaneous use of both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. This configuration enables devices to run IPv4 and IPv6 concurrently, resulting in a smoother transition from the older IPv4 to the more modern IPv6.

See also: IPv4

How dual-stack networks work

In a dual-stack network, devices are equipped with both an IPv4 and an IPv6 address. When communicating with another device, the system will choose the appropriate IP version based on the destination address or the preferred protocol. If a device on an IPv6 network wishes to communicate with an IPv4 device, it will use its IPv4 address and vice versa.

Advantages of dual-stack networks

  • Allows for a smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6 without service interruptions.
  • Supports communication with devices that are still on IPv4.
  • Future-proofs networks for the inevitable shift to IPv6.

Disadvantages of dual-stack networks

  • Requires complex managing and configuring two separate IP addresses for each device.
  • Consumes more memory and processing power on networking devices.
  • Maintaining two protocols can introduce additional security vulnerabilities if not managed correctly.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security