What If The Internet Ran Out Of Room? In Fact, It’s Already Happening

Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, and a founding father of the Internet, discusses the next version of the Internet, IPv6, and why we need it.

Why is the internet running out of room?

Just as phones use a system of phone numbers in order to place calls, every Internet-connected device gets a unique number known as an “IP address” that connects it to the global online network.

The problem is that the current Internet addressing system, IPv4, only has room for about 4 billion addresses — not nearly enough for the world’s people, let alone the devices that are online today and those that will be in the future: computers, phones, TVs, watches, fridges, cars, and so on. More than 4 billion devices already share addresses. As IPv4 runs out of free addresses, everyone will need to share.

What If The Internet Ran Out Of Room? In Fact, It's Already Happening

What If The Internet Ran Out Of Room? In Fact, It's Already Happening

How are we making space to grow?

Clearly the internet needs more IP addresses. How many more, exactly? Well, how about 340 trillion trillion trillion (or, 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)? That’s how many addresses the internet’s new “piping,” IPv6, can handle. That’s a number big enough to give everyone on Earth their own list of billions of IP addresses. Big enough, in other words, to offer the Internet virtually infinite room to grow, from now into the foreseeable future.

What If The Internet Ran Out Of Room? In Fact, It's Already Happening

When is the transition happening?

At Google we believe IPv6 is essential to the continued health and growth of the Internet and that by allowing all devices to talk to each other directly, IPv6 enables new innovative services. Replacing the Internet’s plumbing will take some time, but the transition has begun. World IPv6 Launch on June 6, 2012, marks the start of a coordinated rollout by major websites and Internet service and equipment providers.

Check this Video about IPv6.

What are IPv4 and IPv6?

IPv4 is the current version of the Internet Protocol, the identification system the Internet uses to send information between devices. This system assigns a series of four numbers (each ranging from 0 to 255) to each device. IPv4 only allows for about 4 billion addresses and the Internet needs more room than that. IPv6 is the new version of the Internet Protocol and expands the number of available addresses to a virtually limitless amount–340 trillion trillion trillion addresses.

What is World IPv6 Launch?

World IPv6 Launch on June 6, 2012, organized by the Internet Society, is the day participating major websites and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) permanently enable IPv6 and begin the transition from IPv4.

Was there ever an IPv5?

Version 5 was reserved for the Internet Stream Protocol developed prior to IPv6–it was never widely deployed and will not be used publicly.

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