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Internet warning over IPv4

  • Thread starter Scottish Business Owner
  • Start date
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Came across this story on The Guardian website. I wont pretend to know lots about IPv4 and IPv6 but i'm hoping others can help explain this.

Google vice-president issues stark internet warning | Technology | The Guardian

The warning comes from a fairly high profile guy in Google which is probably why this is getting some coverage. How real is this threat? And as a person who owns a number of websites how is this likely to impact me?


New Member
This is really interesting and hopefully a few of the more techy guys can shed a little light on this issue. It's a pity the article itself doesn't give more detail but it has got me a little curious none the less.


Active Member
Very very brief overview of the situation summarised here:
  • IPv4 takes the format of (up to (e.g.
  • Just over 4 billion available IP addresses using IPv4
  • IP addresses are assigned to devices connected to the Internet
  • We've almost exhausted IP addresses in the IPv4 range
  • IPv6 takes care of the problem by changing the protocol from to 0000000000000000:0000000000000000:0000000000000000:0000000000000000:0000000000000000:0000000000000000:0000000000000000:0000000000000000
  • Rather than expressing it in the 0000000000000000: format, it's visually expressed in hexadecimal. E.g. AC10 = 1010110000010000
  • IPv6 gives us 2^128 IP addresses (that's 340,282,367,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 IP addresses :) )


Active Member
In terms of running out of IPv4, it's not really an issue for most people. ISPs are already slowly migrating new services to IPv6. IPv4 wont be made redundant any time soon either. I give it at least another 5 years.

Harry Leanord

New Member
if IPv6 does look like it will help with the IP problem and should last a while.
its a shame we can't identify what websties that are old and non-recent functioning we cant just recycle them and put them in a big list to re-sell


Active Member
It's not necessarily websites that eat up IP addresses. You only need a separate IP address if the website makes use of an SSL certificate.

Most websites are on shared hosting, and they'll utilise one shared IP address.

The biggest issue is the amount of devices that connect to the Internet nowadays. The exponential explosion of these devices has simply caused us to run out of addresses.

Other plans have been suggested, such as NAT (your local network will probably use this, where you're assigned internal private IP space which can only be used within the boundaries of your network). But NAT has issues like port forwarding, and just isn't feasible as a long-term solution.


New Member
Personally I would say the only worrying part is how long our UK ISPs are taking to roll out IPv6 networking here for your average home user.

Virgin Media = no IPv6
BT Broadband = no IPv6
TalkTalk = no IPv6
o2/bethere = no IPv6
Sky/Easynet = no IPv6

With the IPv4 address space problem looming ever closer it's time for our ISPs to get their act together and get homes IPv6 ready, before the problem starts to affect them.

One other thing to add. This shortage is coming from the top of the line, IANA, the company that actually issues the IP addresses to the local registries. The local registries such as RIPE and ARIN are then given the task of allocating IPs to ISPs.

Local registries as well as the IANA group are going to run out of IPs however the ISPs do have spare IPs available.

Some will have enough that they don't have to worry about it for a while, others will have to think sooner.

The real problem arising from this is any new ISP will not be able to be allocated any IPv4 address space unless the bigger ISPs return some of their excessively large blocks of IPs.

Also an interesting fact, the US Department of Defense has been allocated 14% of IPv4 address space available online. Almost none of these IPs are publicly routed. Largest waste of internet space there is. If they gave them back then we would not be in this problem for a good few years.


Active Member
If they gave them back then we would not be in this problem for a good few years.

This is so true. We're not even talking one or two years either. With 14% available for real use, you'd easily get 5+ years of happy usage.