Sunday, 16 July 2006

There's an interesting story over at the Times of London online that describes the need and future of IPv6, a new number addressing scheme for the Internet that will take the finite IP addressing scheme used today (which is quickly running out of addresses) and replaces it with something significantly huger. The story explains the new addressing scheme without getting all geeky, so it's good for non-technical types. It also does an effective job of explaining the massive difference between the old and new systems.

Only one problem - the math appears to be wrong in the article. IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long. IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long. So, I am not sure where the author's numbers came from...

"When the Internet was developed in the 1980s, programmers had no idea how big it would become. They gave each address a “16-bit” number, which meant that the total number of available addresses worked out at about four billion (2 to the power of 32).

"But as use grew, it became clear that the old protocol, IPv4, wasn’t big enough, so a new one was written based on '32-bit numbers.' That increased the number of available addresses to 340 undecillion, 282 decillion, 366 nonillion, 920 octillion, 938 septillion — enough for the foreseeable future, Mr Kessens said."

Well, the math is off but the article does get the point across that the change is significant. Too bad it's not more accurate, though. Read the story here.

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Sunday, 16 July 2006 07:53:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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