Today marks an important day for the history of the internet. The current internet protocol, IPv4 only allows just over four billion unique IP addresses. Large internet companies such as Google, Facebook and major Internet Service Providers have decided to make the switch to IPv6 starting today. The newer, more advanced protocol allows many more possible unique IP addresses for internet-connected devices.
Networking giant Cisco predicts that by 2016, 18.9 billion internet-enabled devices will be online. Switching to IPv6 means trillions of possible addresses can now be made.
Vint Cerf, early pioneer of the internet and current “chief internet evangelist” for Google, explained in a blog post: “The new, larger IPv6 expands the limit to 2^128 addresses—more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion! Enough for essentially unlimited growth for the foreseeable future.”
In order to ensure a proper implementation, the two protocols will be run in parallel for the next few years. Experts say that individuals shouldn’t notice anything except for some older devices facing some speed issues on IPv6. The onus is also on organizations to perform due diligence to make sure their networks will be secure under the new protocols, something many corporate IT shops have yet to deal with.
So what will the new IP addresses look like compared to the old ones? Let’s take a look…
- IPv4 Sample: 126.96.36.199
- IPv6 Sample: 21DA:00D3:0000:2F3B:02AA:00FF:FE28:9C5A
Via BBC News