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Once you get your head around using colons instead of ‘dot’ (it doesn’t have the same ring, does it?), IPv6 is easy. And ginormous – check this out.
An IPv4 address: 184.108.40.206
An IPv6 address: 3ffe:1900:a545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf
Take that 203 bit at the start of the IPv4 address, which in hex is
cb. So the
cb can fit in the start of the IPv6 address where there’s a
3f at the moment. The 185 in hex is
b9, which can fit in where the
fe in the IPv6 address is. 39 becomes
27 and 74 becomes
4a, so stick
274a in place of
1900 in the v6 address.
So the entire IPv4 internet fits into the
3ffe:1900 part of the IPv6 address.
How big is IPv6? Bigger than ginormous, I reckon.
Each digit is in hexadecimal so it uses 4 bits in binary (24). There’s 32 hex digits in the IPv6 address, so that’s (24)32 = 2128 available addresses. That’s this big:
No idea what you’re meant to call a number that big, but it sure solves this problem:
- 4,294,967,296 is the size of the IPv4 internet now.
- 6,710,780,968 is the number of people on the planet according to the World Population Clock this evening.
IPv6 ought to give us a bit of headroom.
50,706,820,643,313,605,979,603,566,079 is the number of things I can connect to the IPv6 internet, all for myself. And so can everyone else. If I’m (un?)lucky enough to see the world population double before I croak then I’ll only be able to have 25,353,410,321,656,802,989,801,783,039 addresses. So I’ll probably start with my computers and phone and TV and, um, take it from there.
When we run out of this one – we won’t be worrying about it. Thank God for that. You’d only want to do this once. :-)