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IPv6 Addresses Assigned to Hosts and Routers

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

An IPv6 host, including those with only one interface, typically has multiple IPv6 addresses. By default, link-local addresses are automatically configured for each interface on each IPv6 host or router. To communicate with non-neighboring nodes, a host must also be configured with unicast site-local or global addresses. A host obtains these additional addresses either from router advertisements or by manual assignment. Use commands in the netsh interface ipv6 context to manually configure IPv6 addresses.

In IPv6, hosts and routers are typically assigned the following addresses:

  • Unicast addresses:

    • A link-local address for each interface

    • A site-local address for each interface

    • One or more global addresses for each interface

    • The loopback address for the loopback interface

  • Multicast addresses (to listen for multicast traffic):

    • The interface-local scope all-nodes address (FF01::1)

    • The link-local scope all-nodes address (FF02::1)

    • The solicited node address for each unicast address on each interface

    • The multicast address for each joined group on each interface

In addition, IPv6 routers also have the following addresses:

  • Multicast addresses:

    • The interface-local scope all-routers address (FF01::2)

    • The link-local scope all-routers address (FF02::2)

    • The site-local scope all-routers address (FF05::2)

  • Anycast addresses:

    • A subnet-router anycast address for each subnet

    • Optional — Additional anycast addresses

Table 1.10 summarizes the major differences between IPv6 and IPv4 addresses.

Table 1.10   Differences Between IPv4 Addressing and IPv6 Addressing


IPv4 Address IPv6 Address

Internet address classes


Multicast addresses (

IPv6 multicast addresses (FF00::/8)

Broadcast addresses


Unspecified address is

Unspecified address is ::

Loopback address is

Loopback address is ::1

Public IP addresses

Aggregatable global unicast addresses

Private IP addresses

Site-local addresses (FEC0::/48)

Autoconfigured addresses

Link-local addresses (FE80::/64)

Dotted decimal notation

Colon hexadecimal format

Subnet mask or prefix length notation

Prefix length notation only

A resource records

AAAA resource records

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