The Internet is changing in a big way, and the transition is going to be a long & tricky one.
It’ll all be awesome on the other side.  But, for now, we have a lot of work to do.

For a long time now, the Internet has functioned resplendently using a protocol called IPv4.  That’s the protocol that gives your computers and devices IP address such as 192.168.0.1 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0.In a lot of ways, this is an eloquent system.  But it has serious limitations.  Most importantly, every IP address must be unique.  And we are running out of traditional IP addresses!

IPv4 Exhaustion
IPv4 Exhaustion
(Source: http://www.pingdom.com/)

 

Enter IPv6.  A huge innovation and revolution in the Internet!  Among an impressive list of new features and abilities, one very remarkable thing about IPv6 is the huge increase in available IP address.

IPv4 addresses (the ones that most of us are using now) are formatted using four numbers, which can range from 0 to 255.
This allows for about 4.3 billion IP addresses.
And that was definitely “all we needed” back when the Internet was first being formed.

But nowadays, we simply need more addresses.  IPv6 address are formatted differently from the traditional IPv4.
IPv6 addresses are MUCH longer, and are notated using hexadecimal.  Here’s an example:
2001:0AF0:31C0:0000:8884:0B10:AA74:CFA1

So, clearly IPv6 allows for more address.  Guess how many?  (Get ready…….)

340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 available IPv6 addresses!