This was one of the hot topics back in 2007 and now it rises once again to haunt us! Yes, it is true that we are currently running out of IP address. Howerever, don’t panic. IP address exhaustion is only true for a certain type of protocol, IPv4. IPv4 is an abbreviation for Internet Protocol Version 4. Well, that’s the most common, as Brisitsh pharese “common as muck” would fit right here, addressing protocol that is currently in use in any sort of network. It can be anything from your personal computer, notebook, your mobile phone, your car which has some sort of a computer and even your MP3 player iPod has an IP address. So when you look into the IP pool from this perspective it is not really surprising that we are running out of IPv4 numbers. And yes, even your PC which you haven’t touched for years has its own unique IP address!
Now keep that in mind we are living in a world where the electronic devices is creating big pile of junk every year as new technologies keep being develop. After all, at some point every consumer would want to get the newest product on the market according to its budget. As a 32-bit addressing protocol, IPv4 can only provide us with 2^32 unique IP addresses, which is approximately 4.3 billion! Also keep that in mind only approximately 60% of these addresses are available for addressing due to restrictions and regulations.
Now, do we need to panic? Absolutely not! Because probably the geek in your high school class came up with a solution as early as 1998. The solution that world adepts now is called IPv6 meaning Internet Protocol Version 6, surprising right? So how does this IPv6 works? How come it is a solution that even lacks of bringing a new term into the game name wise? Here is how it works, IPv6 will provide us with a new way of coding the IP addresses. It is a 128 bit address which means it can generate 2^128 which is approximately, A LOT!
Another good thing about IPv6 is that it is compatible with IPv4 so that it is really not a big deal to upgrade their system to IPv6 and plus your current IPv4 address will still be in use. So don’t worry, once again the internet is saved!