The internet is in the midst of a slow but momentous sea change. As internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses run out, servers are migrating to internet protocol version 6 (IPv6), a new type of address with an arbitrarily large number of possible combinations. If you want to access those servers safely in the future, having an IPv6 VPN will be of paramount importance.
However, with internet service providers (ISPs) able to make do by recycling old addresses, the full IPv6 transition will take some time.
Key Takeaways: VPNs That Support IPv6
- IPv4 is still viable for years to come, so you probably don’t need an IPv6 VPN yet.
- hide.me is the best VPN to roll out IPv6 support so far, but other top VPNs are likely to follow suit.
- If you want a VPN with IPv6 support right now, hide.me is currently your best choice.
Most VPNs are still set up for IPv4 addresses only, and using them to connect to IPv6 can pose a security risk. That’s why many VPN services come with IPv6 leak protection, which prevents them from accessing IPv6 addresses altogether.
This isn’t a problem because almost no websites exist solely on an IPv6 address. Since the transition is inevitable, though, we thought we’d compile a list of the best IPv6 VPN services — forward-looking services that have gotten out ahead of the change. Read on for the full list.
Only a few VPNs work on IPv6 at the moment, including hide.me, AirVPN, OVPN and Perfect Privacy. Most of the others block IPv6 traffic altogether, since it can pose a security risk when not properly supported.
We recommend keeping IPv6 enabled, but testing regularly for IP leaks. If you find one, or if your VPN connection seems unstable on certain sites, you can troubleshoot by disabling IPv6.
If your VPN has IPv6 support, you should keep it enabled, unless it’s causing leaks or connectivity problems. Be aware that most VPNs block IPv6 traffic by default.
The Top IPv6 VPNs
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin
- : 10
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
- : PayPal, Credit card, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, GiroPay, iDeal, SEPA
- : 5
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 4
What Makes the Best IPv6 VPN Service?
To make our best IPv6 VPN list, a VPN provider must either currently have, or be about to launch, full IPv6 support — not IPv6 leak protection, which simply blocks all IPv6 addresses. Otherwise, the criteria are very similar to our overall best VPN list.
- hide.me — High-functioning VPN with an excellent free plan
- Perfect Privacy — Slow speeds but full IPv6 support
- AirVPN — Expert-level VPN with high customization potential
- OVPN — Privacy-obsessed Swedish VPN provider
We looked for the same things we usually seek in VPN services: strong security, great speeds, a verified no-logs policy, the ability to access streaming services and a user-friendly interface. A service on any one of our best VPN lists should also have a broad server network, useful features (a kill switch and split tunneling at minimum) and support for plenty of platforms.
The search was trickier than usual, because many of the top VPNs overall want nothing to do with IPv6. ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Private Internet Access and Proton VPN block all IPv6 traffic. Surfshark and VyprVPN have no IPv6 infrastructure whatsoever. Even Windscribe, the great iconoclast, throws up firewalls to all IPv6 internet traffic.
We had to dig deep to find (most of) the IPv6 VPN services on this list. A provider has to be a little eccentric to devote resources to IPv6 while IPv4 still has at least 15 years before obsolescence. That said, if you care about IPv6 — and everyone will, sooner or later — these four VPNs deserve your attention.
The 4 Best IPv6 VPN Providers
Each VPN on this list has made an active choice to prioritize IPv6 support. Instead of blocking or redirecting IPv6 traffic, these VPNs have the resources to engage with it like any other address.
More details about hide.me:
- Pricing: Free, $2.50 per month (two-year plan)
- Provider website: hide.me
- Extensive free plan
- Double-hop servers
- Great speeds on close servers
- Can’t unblock Netflix or Hulu
- Uneven speeds at a distance
hide.me is the best VPN that currently has full support for IPv6. It uses a “dual-stack solution” that processes both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, so there’s no danger of traffic from either internet protocol passing outside of the encrypted tunnel.
As the website points out, IPv6 traffic is also faster because its systems are far less congested. Don’t forget, however, that very few web servers currently have IPv6 addresses without IPv4.
Outside the realm of IPv6, hide.me is a growing VPN with great features and a lot of potential. We’re particularly fond of its auto-connect — which rivals CyberGhost’s “smart rules” for depth — and Stealth Guard, a strong kill switch that prevents you from connecting to the internet if your VPN isn’t running.
A Free Plan With Weight
hide.me’s best offering, though, is its free plan, which landed it a spot on our best free VPNs list. It has some limitations — you can only use one device at a time, access VPN servers in eight countries and use 10GB of data per month. However, free users do get nearly all of hide.me’s features, including IPv6 support.
If you decide to spring for a paid plan, hide.me is one of the better-priced VPNs overall. One month costs just $9.99, a relatively good price for those not ready to commit.
On the other hand, the one-year subscription is a bit pricey: $34.99; Surfshark, Private Internet Access and CyberGhost handily beat the deal. Our comprehensive hide.me review has more details on all its features, pricing and more.
- 5 servers
- The 2-year plan comes with 3 extra months free.
- Unlimited GB
2. Perfect Privacy
More details about Perfect Privacy:
- Pricing: $8.96 per month (two-year plan)
- Provider website: perfect-privacy.com
- Configurable kill switch
- Hardware backed privacy
- Can’t unblock streaming apps
- Dated UI
To be honest, Perfect Privacy isn’t one of our favorite VPNs, as you can read all about in our Perfect Privacy review. It’s great at privacy, storing all user activity on RAM servers that wipe themselves about once an hour — but if you use a VPN primarily for streaming, you’re out of luck. In our tests, Perfect Privacy failed to unblock any major platforms.
That said, IPv6 support is one area in which Perfect Privacy outstrips the competition. As with hide.me, all its VPN servers provide both an IPv4 and IPv6 address, preventing leaks and letting you enjoy stability and relative speed.
Configurable Kill Switch
Perfect Privacy has a few strong features other than IPv6 support. Chief among them is a kill switch that disables your internet connection if you’re not connected to a VPN server. This kill switch comes with three settings that determine how vigilant you want the kill switch to be. At the highest level, you won’t be able to access the internet at all without your VPN running.
Although it looks and behaves like a discount VPN service, Perfect Privacy is anything but. It charges as much for one month as ExpressVPN, and the one- and two-year plans hardly lower the price. You can also only request a refund for seven days after purchase — so make sure IPv6 support is something you really care about.
More details about AirVPN:
- Pricing: $2.90 per month (three-year plan)
- Provider website: airvpn.org
- Configurable OpenVPN
- IP address split tunneling
- Relatively affordable
- Extremely hard to use
- Can’t unblock streaming apps
- Dated appearance
AirVPN is an expert-level VPN. While other services are racing to build the most streamlined apps, AirVPN swims against the current, focusing on packing in a truly enormous number of features. Users have the power to configure every aspect of their OpenVPN and WireGuard connections — but it may be difficult without in-depth technical knowledge.
One thing AirVPN makes clear, though, is that it supports both IPv4 and IPv6, with every server having four of each type of address. As you can read in our AirVPN review, it even defaults to IPv6 in many cases, which can be a problem if your computer isn’t set to accept IPv6 traffic. Every server also has its own custom DNS, securing it against potential leaks.
Highly Customizable VPN
Every feature of AirVPN is built to give you the most freedom possible, but it refuses to hold your hand. The execution of its split-tunneling feature is a great example.
You can manually bind apps to IP addresses in the AirVPN network, so they can’t work unless the VPN is active. Unbound apps will go through your internet service provider as normal. It’s a kill switch and split tunneling combined into one.
AirVPN isn’t for everybody, but it does boast one more feature not every VPN offers: an active and lively user forum with thousands of posts discussing every aspect of the system. If this tinkerers’ VPN appeals to you, you can have it for relatively cheap. Be warned that pricing on the website is in euros, so the table below may become outdated as currencies fluctuate.
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
More details about OVPN:
- Pricing: $4.22 per month (three-year plan)
- Provider website: ovpn.com
- Customizable encryption
- Unblocks Netflix and Hulu
- Owns all infrastructure
- Poor long-term pricing
- Cluttered settings menu
- Few servers outside U.S. & Europe
OVPN supports both IPv4 and IPv6 on every VPN server by default. If your operating system doesn’t support IPv6, you’ll need to shut it off with the IPv6 override feature.
OVPN stands out, thanks to its attempts to squeeze every last bit of speed and performance out of its VPN network. It owns its entire network, eschewing rentals and virtual servers, so it can tinker with the software and hardware and shave those extra few milliseconds off its latencies. It goes as far as installing special drivers that work better with WireGuard.
This effort doesn’t always filter down to the end user, though. OVPN’s obsessive focus means its VPN server network is rather limited. Only four of its 32 servers are located outside the U.S. and Europe (one each in Canada, Japan, Singapore and Australia). It also doesn’t always deliver the fastest speeds over a long distance.
Choose the Best Encryption
Most VPNs use AES-256 encryption across all protocols, for good reason — it’s uncrackable with current technology. However, it may not always be the fastest cipher, so OVPN adds the option to switch to ChaCha20-Poly1305. We ran speed tests for our OVPN review and found that ChaCha20 often does lower latencies and increase download speeds.
Additionally, OVPN’s strict no-logs policy has been tested in court and came out on top. It bolsters its privacy credentials with monthly transparency reports. Unfortunately, its pricing is less friendly, with even its long-term deals eclipsed by more robust competitors. Note that higher pricing tiers come with more simultaneous connections.
Some other VPNs are on our radar for IPv6 compatibility, but we’re not ready to fully recommend them just yet.
While compiling this list, we followed up on reports that CyberGhost — one of the world’s top VPNs, often in the running against ExpressVPN — was preparing to support IPv6 traffic. Allegedly, CyberGhost has already started implementing IPv6 on servers in its home country of Romania, with full support on all servers expected “very soon.”
Unfortunately, the blog post announcing these updates seems to have disappeared, making it impossible to verify the reports at this time. Because of this, CyberGhost must remain an honorable mention for now.
All we’ve got are rumors, but if true, CyberGhost would be the best VPN so far to enact full support for IPv6 (no shade to hide.me, but CyberGhost is simply a better product). It’s got a crisp user interface, servers in 91 countries and the ability to unblock every streaming service except Amazon Prime Video. Learn more about all this in our CyberGhost review.
Like OVPN, AzireVPN is a Sweden-based VPN service with built-in support for IPv6. It also shares OVPN’s weakness of a limited server network, though AzireVPN’s is even smaller, reaching only 21 countries. These servers do perform well in speed tests, though.
The bigger problem is that AzireVPN is devoid of the basic features we expect of VPN services. You won’t find a kill switch (except on Android), split tunneling or multi-hop connections here. Without a kill switch or split tunneling, we can’t recommend AzireVPN for torrenting or any other risky activities — but with a little more growth, it may yet get our recommendation.
What’s the Difference Between IPv6 and IPv4?
The short answer: not much, at least for most of us. The long answer is in our full IPv4 vs IPv6 rundown, but we’ll share a medium answer in this section.
To be part of the public internet, web servers need unique IP addresses. Since no two connected servers can have the same address, the number of available IP addresses limits how big the World Wide Web can be. IPv4 was the first internet protocol version deployed on the modern web, and allows for about 4.3 billion addresses.
That was more than enough when the internet was in its infancy, but the humble network exploded in the ʼ90s. In February 2011, all of IPv4’s addresses were allocated for the first time; by 2019, they’d all been used at least once.
This milestone could have spelled the end of the internet, but web developers saw it coming far in advance. They built technologies that stretched the pool of available IPv4 addresses, including network address translation (NAT), which allows your entire home network to share a single IP address.
ISPs can extend the lifespan of IPv4 by recycling old, unused addresses, but ultimately, all these technologies are just temporary fixes. The only long-term solution to IP address depletion is full migration to the new internet protocol, IPv6 (there’s no such thing as IPv5).
Will IPv6 Change Anything?
IPv6 has been available since 1998, but adoption has been slow so far. IPv6 requires costly upgrades to both hardware and software, and ISPs have been loath to spend the time and money — just like most VPN providers. As the IPv4 shortage begins to squeeze growth, however, we’ll likely see both ISPs and VPNs step up migration efforts.
What does this all mean for the user? Ideally, not much. From the user’s perspective, IPv4 and IPv6 support the same internet. You’ll only notice if the tools you use to get online — your operating systems, browser and VPN — don’t have the settings or infrastructure to manage the switch. At that point, you’ll need to look for IPv6-capable alternatives, like the VPNs on this list.
Final Thoughts: IPv6 VPN Options
The time when new websites run solely on IPv6 is a long way off. As it gets closer, we’re likely to see more top-tier VPNs follow hide.me’s lead and install full IPv6 support. This list will change when that happens, but for now, the four VPNs listed are our favorite choices for IPv6 sites.
CyberGhost would be in the lead, but it hasn’t fully implemented IPv6 yet. If you need your IPv6 VPN to be battle-ready today, hide.me is your best choice. We also stand by Perfect Privacy, AirVPN and OVPN for IPv6, despite their idiosyncrasies in other areas.
How are you preparing for the IPv6 migration? Do you have a favorite VPN for IPv6 we didn’t mention? We’d love to hear your voices in the comments. Thanks for reading!