Internet IP addresses IPv4 officially running out, IPv6 on the way

By on Feb 4, 2011 in Internet Comments

It’s now official, the 4.3 billion Internet IP addresses (IPv4) are now running out, and the last batch has been distributed during a special ceremony in Miami on Thursday, but IPv6 is now on its way.

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An IP address is a string of unique numbers being assigned to each device so it can be able to be connected with the Internet, in which the first batch of IPv4 was distributed in 1981.

According to US news sites, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) handed out the last 83.9 million IPv4 IP addresses available. Each of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) was said to have received about 16 million IP addresses.

Meanwhile, IPv6, which was said to have 340 undecillion IP addresses (or 340 trillion, trillion, trillion), are now under way; while laptops, smartphones, as well as Web browsers, can already support this latest version of IP addresses.

“If all the spaces of IPv4 were to be sized and compared to golf ball, a similar-sized comparison for IPv6 would be the size of the sun,” American Registry for Internet Numbers CEO John Curran said, adding that another transition is ‘unlikely to happen’.

As noted by technical news sites, company websites would need to let their computers be configured to adopt IPv6 but not necessarily to upgrade the hardware.

Incidentally, an earlier report revealed that Hurricane Electric, an Internet Service Provider, predicted that an ‘IPcalypse’ is likely to happen last February 2, 2011 at around 4 p.m, which means the Internet will run out of IP addresses.

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