By this time next year, experts predict that there will be no IPv4 addresses left. What does this mean? Everything that connects to the internet is assigned an IP address, at the moment it’s an IPv4 address, which is vital to that device being able to communicate with all the other computers on the internet.
When IPv4 was deployed, nobody ever thought that 4 billion addresses wouldn’t be enough. 30 years later, it isn’t enough and now experts predict that within 340 days there won’t be enough addresses to go around.
The problem is that 30 years ago personal computers weren’t really around but nowadays even some refrigerators want an IP address. If this is not solved we might end up with a group of computers that have the same IP address and that would not be good.
If that does happen, many sites that you use daily wouldn’t work. Take Facebook and Google Docs. They both rely on the fact that every computer has an individual IP address in order to know which computer to send the information to, as do many other sites you may use daily. The sharing of IP address might also cause problems like being banned from websites that you haven’t been on before. This is because a web server/webmaster creates a blacklist of IP addresses of the people that have abused their site in the past and if you share an IP address with someone who has been banned from a group of websites, you will end up being banned as well just because you both share the same IP.
Another problem with sharing IP addresses is VoIP. If you share IP addresses with other people that use VoIP, you could end up getting calls from god knows who when that call was actually meant to be directer to a different person with the same IP address as you.
But not all hope is lost. There is a new addressing system called IPv6. IPv6 has been out for a while and is slowly being deployed world-wide. The problem with that is the fact that there are still heaps of devices out there that don’t support IPv6. I know that my brand new Motorola DEXT only supports IPv4 and most gadgets around the average house would only support IPv4 like my modem. Does this mean that I have to buy a new modem just to get on the internet in a years time?
There are also rumors that they may add a number in front of the address like Sydney added the 9 for the shortage of phone numbers though whatever solution they come up with, it may mean that we have to upgrade our networking devices in some way and in the end the cost will be put on us wither though the ISP and/or our new networking equipment.