You’ve probably been hearing all kinds of stuff about IPv6, like “OMG no more IP addresses, how can I get on the internet?!” To understand IPv6, let’s get to know what our current system is and how it works…
Right now we use IPv4, which uses an IP that looks like this: 184.108.40.206. It’s an identification, like a social security number, and every computer connected to a network or the internet has one. When you go to FleshEatingZipper.com or any other website your browser does a DNS lookup and that returns an IP address that displays the website. It’s a lot better than remembering the IP address yourself.
The numbers between the dots can go from 0 to 255, which gives us 4,294,967,296 IP’s. That sounds like a lot, but when every computer, cell phone and website needs an IP address, even 4 billion isn’t enough.
IPv6 is hexadecimal, so instead of 3 numbers per dot and 4 sets, IPv6 has 4 numbers or letters and 8 sets. It looks something like this: b3fe:fhd2:0100:0000:fdh2:7383:fh76:82gb. This new system has 340 undecillion (340 trillion trillion trillion) or 666,577 IP’s per square nanometer. Looking at it another way, if every star in our galaxy had the same amount of people we have on earth, then everyone could have 167,049 IP addresses.
What does this mean to you? Well, probably nothing. Unless you work in the computer industry. Although, in a couple of years you may have to buy a new router or get one from your ISP.