by Isabell Grinda
Published in: Hosting news, Products, Tips & tutorials

What has indicated for years, has occurred recently: IP addresses of the most widely employed standard IPv4 are no longer available in North America. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), which is responsible for assigning IP addresses in North America, lately announced that the last packet has been awarded with 256 addresses. New IP addresses are therefore only available when enterprises return their packages.

The IP Address for Identification on the Internet

An IP address identifies the address in computer networks which is based on the Internet protocol (IP). The IP address is used to send data from a sender to a receiver. An example of a classic IPv4 address would be Each of the four numbers can have a value between 0 and 255, resulting in a very high number of possible combinations.

The IPv4 system allows a total of 4,294,967,296 addresses. Already in 2008, 85 percent of the possible addresses in North America have been used on the Internet. Also in other continents, such as Asia and Europe, it looks similar, only Africa is likely to get along a few more years with the existing IPv4 addresses. An IPv4 address has 32 points, while IP addresses using the IPv6 standard feature 128 points.

IPv6 as a Standard for the Future

As dramatic as this sounds now, however, there is already a working solution, because the replacement IPv6 allows theoretically powerful 340 sextillion IP addresses, which should be enough for a long time. However, even though IPv6 has been around since 1998, it is used only little so far. Approximately 16 percent of large, most visited sites are now accessible via IPv6. IPv6 is not only future-proof because it allows an almost infinite number of different addresses, but also because the new protocol will bring measurable speed advantages. Measurements have found increases of ten to 15 percent. Current operating systems support the new standard already, but very few website owners have so far opted for a migration from IPv4 to IPv6, as also a certain amount of effort is linked.

Trade of IPv4 Addresses will intensify

Due to the lack of IPv4 packets there already exists a brisk trade with IP addresses packets for some time. Until now, only once could transfer a block IP addresses per year. With the depletion of the free IP addresses, this restriction falls away now, what is likely to fuel the trade in IP addresses even more.

Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag
All IPv4 Addresses in North America depleted von Keyweb AG ist lizenziert unter einer Creative Commons Namensnennung 4.0 International Lizenz.


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