How IPv4 is helping pave the way for IPv6

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For quite a while it has been known that we have been running out of Internet Protocol version 4 address space. This has caused quite a stir, especially in the community of tech organizations. Before IPv4 fully ran out, Microsoft spent 7.5 millions of dollars on over 60 thousand IPv4 addresses. Decades ago, when the IPv4 addresses were first distributed, the Regional Internet Registry assumed that 4 billion IPv4 addresses would be enough to last us a very long time. That assumption, unfortunately, was cut short. In 2019 it was announced that we have run out of IPv4s completely.

Due to this troublesome assessment, before IPv4 addresses were running out, IPv6 addresses were being worked on to hopefully replace the former. Internet Protocol version 6 was deployed for a while now, give or take a few years, and it is being used worldwide. It is used mostly for mobile phones and computers. You may be asking yourself why everyone is still in a fuss about the whole shortage of IPv4 addresses since IPv6 is already up and running. Well, there is a bit of a snag. IPv6 can be used yes, but the way to use it efficiently is by using IPv4 as well.

Is IPv6 the solution to the IPv4 shortage problem?

The answer is yes. But it will take some time before IPv6 is ready to be used in the same way IPv4 was and still is used. One of the many reasons IPv4 addresses depleted faster than people assumed is due to its 32-bit addresses. IPv6 however, has 128-bit addresses, meaning that IPv6 will have way more addresses available compared to IPv4. With a 128-bit address number, IPv6 will be able to have trillions of combinations of addresses that can last us well up to 400 years. As good as this sounds, we still aren’t there yet with IPv6. The good news is that IPv4 is able to help bridge the gap with IPv6 so one day, we will be able to use IPv6 completely.

Learn more

There is so much more to know and learn about IPv4 and IPv6! At there are lots of information about the two internet protocols that will help you understand where we are heading towards regarding the internet.
September 7, 2022 |

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