The End Of The Internet: Switching to IPv6

IPv6 ChinaIPv6 ChinaIt turns out there is an end to the Internet after all: the international companies that make web addresses available say some countries will run out of available ones as early as 2010.

Currently, the world uses version 4 of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. A forward-thinking group meeting in Beijing, China, this month is encouraging people to move to IP version six, called IPv6 for short. There’s no word on what happened to version 5.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers said IP version 4 has about 4.7 billion possible addresses, an enormous amount by normal measures, but dwarfed by IPv6, which has more than four times as many addresses. That huge number gets a lot smaller when you think about not only traditional web sites but future applications that could work through the World Wide Web, like remote control of closed-circuit security cameras, and controlling your home from work. With the proper web address, you could turn on the lights, heat and dishwasher so the house gets ready for your arrival while you’re still in rush hour.

A Microsoft spokesman told technology companies at the IPv6 meeting that they should be preparing for the new version of Internet Protocols already. There’s no schedule for changing the world’s computer companies from version 4 to version 6, but analysts say the change is inevitable. Google, for example, has set up a version six of its main page, arguably the most visited page on the Internet.


China is already using IPv6, at least for academic and research institutes, though its response to the push to change everything to the new version may be an example for the rest of the world.

Mao Wei, director of the China Internet Network Information Centre, said, “There is no mechanism to switch over to IPv6, nor do we know who will issue that order, which department.”

Apr 17, 2008
by Anonymous


You simply have no idea how many more addresses IPv6 has.

Apr 17, 2008
by Anonymous

ok, do you even know what IPv6 is?

I'm sorry, but it seems to me that you have picked up something here that you thought was interesting without fully understanding what is was about...

First of all, as stated above, you really have no idea about how many addresses IPv6 can hold. I did a quick math, nothing accurate, but ended up with about 340 trillion addresses. Which granted, is more than four times what ipv4 can handle.

Second, what is this talk about replacing the internet??? Switching protocols is only one small thing. Remaining is the entire infrastruture... It's like saying, I had to change the engine in my car with a new one. Does that mean that you now have a new car???

Apr 18, 2008
by Anonymous

As previously mentioned ...

... your math is a bit flawed. The correct number (or atleast the "theoretical maximum") is 2^128, or 340 undecillion (yes, that is a real number)).

However, this is not an entirely accurate way to represent the number space - it is a bit more realistic to say that IPv6 allows 2^64 (18Billion Billion or so (using US billions, and yes - the word billion is there twice - intentionally!)) network segments, each of which supports the "appropriate number" of hosts (upper theoretical bound of 18BB).

Furthermore, the hole picture that you are trying to summarize here is a bit lacking. There are a vast number of factors, that cannot readily be summarized into a half page blurb - atleast not with any technical merit - including such things as why IPv6 may be interesting above and beyond the simple number space problem, what is does similarly to / different from IPv4, the entire issue of transition / integration, timing of IPv6 implementation (hint : the "correct" time will vary for just about every environment), etc. etc.