Each device connected to the Internet requires an address, like every house has a mailing address. The current address scheme, IPv4 (that’s Internet Protocol version four) allows for 4,294,967,295 devices. That’s 4.29 billion devices. And the human race just exhausted all possible addresses. The remaining blocks of free addresses have just been allotted.
But there’s hope! To allow for more addresses, there is a new address scheme that the Internet will begin to use this year.
The solution is IPv6, a new standard for Internet addresses that should provide a lot more room for growth: There are 340 undecillion IPv6 addresses available. That’s 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses.
IPv6, according to the math, can contain all of the IPv4 addresses 296 times over. Imagine the Internet as it exists on the Earth today, with no addresses left in IPv4. Now imagine for every device on the Earth, there is another planet with their own Internet as big as ours, and all of those planets are interconnected into one giant galaxian Internet. IPv6 can accommodate all of those addresses for every single device with plenty of room to spare.