Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Internet Will Run Out of IP Addresses in Less Than 1 Year

So, you thought the Internet was a source of neverending information that is available to anyone and everyone?  Well, that's not the case.  You read the title right; in less than a year, the Internet will be out of IP addresses (if you don't know what that means, don't worry; I'll explain).  If you want to read the article I did, here is the Geek.com article. But, here's the basics, from me:

  • What is an IP Address? According to Wikipedia (scholarly, I know): An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label that is assigned to devices participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication between its nodes. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing Basically, it's a nametag your electronic devices use to get online, and each one is unique. 
  • Right now, the world uses IPv4 as its technology to assign IP addresses. However, there's a limit of about 4 billion IP addresses with IPv4.
  • Right now, with only about 232 million left, it is expected that we will be out of IP addresses in 340 days
  • Some believe a black market will be created for IP addresses, and Internet Service Providers are encouraging people to share IP addresses.
  • Fortunately, there is a new technology called IPv6 (original, yeah?) that will create a larger pool of IP addresses
  • Unfortunately, IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4 (meaning, it's a totally new technology, not just an upgrade).  That means some devices will need to be upgraded or replaced, which costs money.
  • Because of that, many Internet Service Providers have not upgraded yet, and probably won't get to it in time.  Many think that if the Internet Service Providers don't adopt the new technology in time, we will be in a crisis situation.
  • Some good news is that Mac and Windows Operating Systems are already IPv6 compatible.  Google and Facebook are in the process of adopting it.


So, thoughts?  What do you think will happen if we run out of IP addresses?

    2 comments:

    1. Holy Crap! This is almost as bad as running out of water!!

      ReplyDelete
    2. Wow!! I would of never thought about it. A little scary in our techno world.

      ReplyDelete

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