The one thing about any address system is that each destination needs to have a unique identifier. Whether it is telephones or a snail-mail postal system, every separate place where physical or electronic items need to be delivered is required to have a unique address.
Sometimes an address system simply runs out of unique addresses in its address space. Some may remember the telephone number rollout for London in 2000 which saw the introduction of eight digit local numbers to provide a five-fold increase in capacity to meet the burgeoning demand for telephone lines.
When it comes to the internet the same principle applies. However, it’s a bit more complicated.
There are a number of address systems in use on the Internet. Most of us are familiar with email. And many know the general format of a website address: www.awebsitename.com.
However, underlying these systems is the numerical network form of the address system, known as IP (Internet Protocol) addressing. Today’s addresses are typically displayed in quad-dotted notation as decimal values of four octets, each in the range 0 to 255, providing a maximum of around 4.3 x 109 or 4.3 billion unique addresses.
Take the example IP address – 192.168.1.1 – this is an IPv4 address. This particular one may seem familiar as it is often the default internal address of many broadband routers for connecting laptops, tablets and smartphones in our homes and offices.
However, a router has another side – and this requires an external IP address with which your ISP connects it to the internet. The massive growth of internet connected devices, driven by the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) (internet-connected wearable devices and monitoring and control systems) now means the world is simply running out of internet addresses.
It has long been known the Internet would hit the wall eventually when it came to addressing. IPv6, the successor to IPv4 provides 3.4 x 1038 addresses, and makes it future-proof, well, perhaps! IPv6 runs in parallel with IPv4 until such time as IPv4 is turned off. As you can guess, this creates considerable potential for problems.
Paralogic has the network expertise and supporting services to ensure IP addressing does not present problems for your business. For impartial advice or to find out more about how we can help, simply call us on 01844 293 330 or fill in the form on the right and we’ll be right back to you.
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