Monday, January 25, 2010

Internet Addresses IPv4 vs IPv6

A few decades ago, when the Internet was at its infancy, the number of 3,706,650,624 usable addresses provided by the famous IPv4 seemed more than enough.

However, in just a decade we got dangerously close to reaching that limit, and that's why we'll soon be moving onwards to the newer IPv6 address space.

Every computer (or device) connected to the internet needs an IP address. However, as the 32 bit addressing provided by IPv4 was not enough, it forced network infrastructures to add networks within networks... That's why thousands of users can appear to be sharing a common IP address.
And that's also why it's often not enough to know a user IP to be able to "connect" to him directly.

With IPv6 it will all be different, we'll have a 128bit address space, enough for even "unimaginable growth" where every single electronic device might be connected to the internet, and it will make networking a lot easier; as each device will be able to have an unique and really identifiable address in the entire network.(Unlike what happens today, where both you, your friends, and millions other users can each share your own "" IP address.)

Sadly, if you thought 32bits IP address weren't cryptic enough, the new IPv6 128 addresses will certainly make your eyes hurt, as you can expect to see things like "2001:252:0:1::2008:8" becoming more popular in the future. Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, you should realy need to worry about it. Let's hope they're right!

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