I’m sure you’ve read the headlines- great headline, but slightly mistaken. The world is running out of IP Addresses but not domain names so you can relax. But why did so many media outlets run stories on the web running out of space?
Here’s a simplified explanation of IPv6 and the issue with IP Addresses.
Every computer, tablet, mobile and modem connected to the internet needs to have a separate IP Address. This IP Address is a unique number that sets your computer apart from any other. The only problem is with so many web enabled gadgets that the actual number of IP Addresses available is estimated to run out by the end of 2012. So the big wigs that set the rules for the Internet have introduced IPv6 to eliminate the problem before most people even know about it.
It’s basic maths really, currently each device has an IP address such as: 123.456.789.012 however, soon devices will have many this many digits 1234:5678:90ab:cdef:1234:5678:90ab:cdef as their IP Address and therefore the sheer number of devices that can have a unique IP Address will increase exponentially.
This will mean that your internet enabled Car, Mobile, PC ,TV,Radio, and even your fridge will be separated from the rest of your devices including your router so you should be able to communicate with each device independently of one another.
This will be fantastic news when you want to set your microwave to pre-cook a meal from the office, spy on your kids to see if there are doing their homework and most importantly, record that must-not-miss rerun of Judge Judy!
If you would like to know some more detail about IPv6 we’ve just written an extensive post on the Rack Servers Blog explaining the technical side of IPv6.