What did the Internet of Things do to Ipv4?

By now, nearly any refrigerator or toaster is in need of an individual IP address to connect to the wider network of smart things. Naturally, this has exhausted the availability of IPv4 addresses once provided by the RIR. Where a total of 4,294,967,296 Internet Protocol version 4 addresses seemed enough by the very beginning of interconnectivity, we’ve run out. Just a couple of decades later. Not surprisingly though; with the Internet of Things (IoT), where devices are continuously connected to form entire networks of machine intelligence, each requiring a unique IP address, the shortage of available IPv4 is a fact. 

A heated transfer market

Aside from IoT developments, network, cloud and mobile technologies have depleted the availability of IPv4 address space, resulting in a heated transfer market where sellers are frantically looking to sell IPv4 against attractive rates and buyers eagerly paying for the IPv4 address space they need to further propel their business. Asd with any exchange of assets, specialized brokers have emerged mediating between buying and selling parties. Within a decade, an entirely new exchange market emerged as a consequence of 4 billion+ IP addresses being in active use. 

Predictions on the total number of devices as part of the Internet of Things landed on 26 billion by 2020. Now put that number alongside the 4 billion+ available IPv4 addresses and see the problem. 

What’s next?

The fact that the original IPv4 system is insufficient in facilitating today’s interconnectivity is undeniable, yet the alternative is still not a given. The newest IPv6 has been released offering a total of as much as 340 trillion trillion trillion unique 128-bit IP addresses. However, IPv6 isn’t backward compatible with IPv4, meaning networks need to run on a dual stack for some time to come. A dual stack allows for the interconnection of IPv4 and Ipv6 without fully transitioning to IPv6 immediately. The latest operating systems support this dual stack and use IPv6 before IPv4 upon availability. 

With the ever-growing number of devices connected to a smart network, IPv6 seems to be the first and foremost solution to the IPv4 depletion. Yet what will the transition entail when each and every network has to run on IPv6 in the future? 

Time will tell

Whether the Internet of Things will accelerate the transition to IPv6 is very likely as technological advancements are already limited by the IPv4 shortage. However, what this transition will look like in practice is still to be seen. As long as the market for IPv4 address space is still in place, the transition is still underway.

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About Snehal Tanwar 51 Articles
I believe in the power of words and I think God has blessed me with the same. I have a strong experience in the area of writing and love to share my work with the readers. Happy reading!!

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