IPV6 – What can you expect?

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That fact is, the world is running out of IP addresses. The last of the Class A IPV4 address blocks were given out in 2011. While that might mean little to you it does mean a lot to the Internet industry. The 4.6 billion addresses which are available today through IPV4 are running out.

So what is an IP and why is it important to you?

Every computer, laptop, phone and tablet directly connected to the Internet requires an IP address. An IP is a grouping of numbers, separated by decimals, which identifies your device online. An example of an IPV4 address would look something like this (123.123.123.123).

With the emergence of smart phones, tablets and other Internet connected devices the rate of IP usage has grown exponentially. This trend is accelerating and unlikely to change. So how can we get more IP addresses you ask?

IPV6 to the rescue!

IPV6 is the next standard in IP address spacing and has been around since 1998, believe it or not. If you work for Google, Microsoft or IBM you are well aware of IPV6 and are already working with it. That, for the most part, is where it ends.

When fully implemented, IPV6 will provide nearly an unlimited IP addresses for all of our devices. How many is that? Estimated at 340 undecillion, a number featuring 36 zeros give or take a few. IPV4 will continue to function in parallel with IPV6 but will likely be phased out as IPV6 takes over.

So what can you do to prepare for the next step? Very little to be honest.

IP address spacing is a problem for your Internet provider, cell phone carrier and hardware manufacturer to worry about. The transition to IPV6 is going to be a slow process and take many years to complete. Worst case scenario for the individual; you may have to replace that 8 year old wireless router and upgrade from Windows 2000/XP. It’s about time don’t you think?

If you run a business getting ahead of the curve is always a good idea. Have your IT professional start working on a plan to implement IPV6 on your network. Being ahead of the game is always better than being left behind.

IPV6 is coming without a doubt.

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