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Is the Internet about to Stop? What happens when there are no more IPs?   no comments

Howdie do Turnkey Lovers,

Jeremy here again. This past week, one of my co-workers made an interesting comment to me. He said, and I quote, “One day when the internet runs out and we have no more IP’s, what will people do then?”. Now this lead me to an interesting set of questions. Is my co-worker right? Are we going to run out of the “internet”, will it just ‘stop’ workign since IP’s are becoming scarce and how will that affect hosting (SEO/cPanel/Reseller).

 

Well, in order to answer these questions, we must first look at what an IP even is and are their different types? Now, for most of you technies or self-proclaimed geeks, you are probably shaking your heads saying, that’s such a dumb question. Of course there are different type of IP’s and everyone knows what IP’s are. For this article though, let’s assume that you were from a distant planet who knew nothing about the internet. You and you’re family had decided to make your way down to this glorious planet for a vacation.

 

Upon arriving, you notice everyone is talking about social media, smart phones, computers, and tablets. You’re quite the inquisitive alien life-form and begin to wonder, “What do all of these things have in common?”.  Enter Google. You begin to search the internet as one of your new Earth friends, let’s call him Jeremy(no relation), informs you that you need to find a computer and Google Internet. Upon your search, you discover that the internet is essentially a cluster of computers connected together globally using something called a TCP/IP Protocol.

 

This protocol, as they call, it seems to be rather important. So important that I included the definition from Wikipedia below on it:

 

The Internet protocol suite is the set of <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_protocol> communications protocols used for the  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet> Internet and similar networks, and generally the most popular <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protocol_stack> protocol stack for <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wide_area_network> wide area networks. It is commonly known as TCP/IP, because of its most important protocols: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmission_Control_Protocol> Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Protocol> Internet Protocol (IP), which were the first networking protocols defined in this standard.

 

Not to be the alien to leave information out, you decide to research further into the Internet Protocol (IP). Definition is below:

 

The Internet Protocol (IP) is the principal <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_protocol> communications protocol used for relaying  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datagram> datagrams (also known as  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_packet> network packets) across an  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internetwork> internetwork using the <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Protocol_Suite> Internet Protocol Suite. Responsible for  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Routing> routing packets across network boundaries, it is the primary protocol that establishes the  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet> Internet.

 

Or in lamen terms, it’s an individual address that every computer, smart-phone or tablet uses to connect to the Internet. Ok, I think the alien role-playing has gone on long enough. Let’s bring this back to Earth. Now let’s say you read my previous article and learned a bit about cPanel/Reseller hosting. It’s probably safe to assume that you’re aware that when you purchase a reseller or cPanel account from Turnkey Internet at http://www.turnkeyinternet.net/ , you can receive a dedicated IP. Essentially, the address to which you can host your website.

 

That IP is from the IPv4 family or the Internet Protocol Version 4 family. Now if we reference the statement made by my co-worker made earlier in the article, you can safely assume there is a finite number of these type of IPs. 2^32IP address or around 4.29 Billion IP addresses. The 32 is essentially 32 bits or 192.xxx.xxx.xxx. That’s a rather large number, but so is the number of people joining the internet every day. Eventually, those IP’s will run out which will force a new IP family, IPv6. Now, I won’t bore you with the details about the differences between the two families, but there is one key difference, the number of IPs each family can produce. For IPv6, they can make 2^128 available address or 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. The 128 is essentially 128 bits or 192.xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx(I think you get the point).

 

So to answer my co-workers question, which I’m sure you already know the answer to about running out of IPs, we just switch to a new IP family and the Internet will live on. Now, for the win, how does this affect your Turnkey Internet cPanel/reseller packages?

 

Well to be honest, the effect will be pretty negible on the cPanel/reseller side of things. The biggest noticeable difference will come during the transition period of switching to IPv6 as DNS propagation will take a bit of time to respond to the new IP addresses. This could affect your sites load times during the transition period. Other than that, the main difference will be cost. IPv4 will and already is becoming a premium as these IP’s are being filled by potential new Turnkey Resellers as yourself. Only a few companies are offering the IPv4 IP’s at a low, competitive price such as Turnkey Internet. Which means, you need to get them while you can.  Those who for instance start a web site a year from now when there are no more IPv4 addresses left, will only have a new IPv6 address, making their web pages possibly slower to load because of how the Internet as a whole will be using dns and specialized proxy systems to ‘store/forward’ to connect IPv4 and IPv6 together (think of it as a 4 lane highway that connects 2 big cities together).  IPv4 and IPv6 connections between each other will be congested on that 4 lane highway at times – which is why it’s very important to try to get yourself hooked up with a good web site that includes IPv4 space (and a provider that supports IPv6 too!).  TurnKey of course has that already setup for you and has been a leader in this space offering both for some time.

 

Well that was quite a handful or is it mouth full? I’m not sure anymore.  The reality is – the Internet will continue, IPv4 address will run out (or already are out, depending on which provider you are with) – and IPv6 will be a transition behind the scenes that may be a little bumpy and congested for people, but will happen.

 

Until next time Turnkey Lovers  – Jeremy

 

 

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Written by Jeremy on July 13th, 2012

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