Internet running out of addresses

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Internet running out of addresses

NEW YORK, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The current system that allocates Internet addresses is nearing the end of the trail, U.S. Internet expert Vint Cerf said.

The system, known as IPv4, devised in 1977, had room for 4.3 billion addresses, with one coded address assigned to each computer, phone, tablet reader or gaming device that can access the Internet.

That seemed to be plenty, way back when. Few in those days could imagine the world running out of addresses with a system that could reach 4.3 billion.

But a month ago, at a ceremony in Florida, the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, known as Icann, handed out the last five blocks of addresses to its registries, The New York Times reported Monday.

In 1977, "We thought we were doing an experiment. The problem was, the experiment never ended," said Cerf, who advocated for the system with a distant, but finite end point while at the R & D office at the Department of Defense, where the system was devised.

Some believe switching to the new system, IPv6, which has an almost infinite number of addresses available, will cause a substantial glitch in the Internet. Some major companies have been working on the transition for years, however, allowing some hope that the transition will be smooth, the Times said.
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Why Your IP Address May Soon Be Antique
The pool of available IP addresses is rapidly decreasing. You may soon find that your IP address contains letters.


Many of our readers are no doubt familiar with the basics of IP address: They provide a network address that's used to reliably route Internet traffic to your PC, smartphone, or other device. The problem, though, is that the Internet is almost out of available IP addresses.

IPv4 is the current main IP (Internet Protocol) technology. Anyone who connects to the Internet gets assigned an IP address, which is up to 12 digits long, IPv4 technology allows for roughly 4 billion individual IP addresses. And not all IP addresses are created equal: There are "classes" of IP address--some intended for public use (usually to identify servers on the Web), and others for private use (like devices connected to your home network). For example, the IP address for Google.com as compared to a typical Netgear router (like you might have in your home).

Google's public IP address appears to be 66.102.7.99 at the time of writing, and Netgear routers, by default, can be reached from inside a network at 192.168.1.1. The "192." IP block, known as "Class C", is designated for private use, usually intended to be used with some type of NAT ("Network Address Translation"), to allow many devices to operate behind a single network access point (think of multiple PCs connecting to the Internet via one Wi-Fi network).
By Chris Head
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