Thirty years after they were first created, the world has run out of IPv4 internet addresses. On Thursday, the world exhausted IPv4 net addresses, but there is no reason to panic as the transition to IPV6, the new version, is well under way.
According to experts, most people will probably not even feel the slightest inconvenience during the transition period.
On Thursday, the organisation overseeing the global allocation of internet addresses distributed the last batch of so-called IPv4 addresses, which highlights the extent of the reach of web into modern life, say experts.
Every computer, smartphone and back-end web server has to be assigned an IP address, which is a unique string of numbers identifying a particular device for connecting to the internet. With the massive expansion of web-connected gadgets, and the popularity of websites from Google Inc to Facebook, the world is now facing a crunch of IPv4 addresses that have a limit of 4 billion.
The solution is IPv6, a new internet addresses standard that would accommodate a humungous number of addresses, to be exact, 340 undecillion, that is 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses.
According to John Curran, chief executive officer of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, if all the space of IPv4 were to be sized and compared to a golf ball, a similar-sized comparison for IPv6, would be the size of he sun. The American Registry for Internet Numbers is one of five non-profit organisations that manage internet addresses for particular regions of the world.
He adds that with the kind of numbers, there would be no need for another transition.