Uncategorized 28 Jul 2010 11:19 am

The Internet: Not As Endless As I Thought

I can’t even remember how many times I have heard that the possibilities are endless with the Internet. In fact, I turn to the Internet for everything- email, news, phone numbers, social media, weather and research. Everything – or almost everything – is on the Internet.

Imagine my surprise when I read on NewYorkTimes.com that there is less than one year until the Internet runs out of addresses. Currently, the Web uses Internet Protocol Version 4, where each address is limited to a 32-bit number and only a maximum of 4 billion unique addresses. All but 6% of available addresses have been allocated and this will run out within the year!

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is the latest version and uses 128-bit addresses, supporting a lot more unique addresses. Internet Service Providers, telecoms carriers and large-scale Internet companies each have a responsibility to switch to IPv6. The good news is that Verizon and Comcast have announced trial IPv6 activity while Google has already put the majority of its services onto IPv6 and Facebook is following its lead. However, the complete switch is far from over for most of the Web. But the switch must be made or the Internet will have an expiration date.

Jaclyn Klein

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