Internet will run out of IP addresses within 18 months.

Incredible, I know, but it is true. The current addressing system is limited to about four billion addresses. Guess what? The addresses are about to dry up.

It's Y2K all over again without all of the cool parties and apocalyptic implications. I guess the moral of this story is you had better get your IP addresses while you can.

The following story is from CNN:

(CNN) -- The internet as we know it is reaching its limits.

Within 18 months it is estimated that the number of new devices able to connect to the world wide web will plummet as we run out of "IP addresses" -- the unique codes that provide access to the internet for everything from PCs to smart phones.

"The internet as we know it will no longer be able to grow," Daniel Karrenberg, chief scientist at RIPE NCC, the organization that issues IP addresses in Europe, told CNN.

"That doesn't mean it will cease to function, but entry could be limited to new devices."

Some estimate that by September 2011 the last large batches of addresses will be issued, meaning that months after that date there will be no new addresses available.

But while this sounds like a complete disaster -- another Millennium Bug -- it need not be, and there is a solution, if we all act quickly enough.

Currently the internet is built around the Internet Protocol Addressing Scheme version 4 (IPv4), which has around four billion addresses -- and they're fast running out.

Four billion no doubt seemed a huge amount when the system was designed in the 1970s, but few then could have predicted how the internet would take off, and how many billions more connections would be needed.

However, there is a replacement, IPv6, which has trillions more addresses available and ready to go. The problem is that businesses are proving slow to adapt their technology to IPv6, leaving experts fearful that we might be heading for a crunch within 18 months.

"My impression is that while awareness of the issue is quite high, a lot of businesses are sitting on the fence," said Karrenberg. "Many small businesses are waiting to see what the early adopters do; how they handle things.

"My suspicion is too many are leaving it too late."


  1. Hmmm. We're all going to have to spend some money in the near future to "adapt our technology to IP v6." Sounds 'spensive to me, Lucy.

  2. you know this is fake right? ip addresses are randomly generated lol you can't run out of randomly generated numbers. anyone that thinks this is real should go back to school start at grade 2 and move on as you learn that there is already an unlimited numbers of ip addresses. just add 9 random numbers and there's another ip address like so,, 654.948.65.4 you can't run out.

  3. IP addresses are not randomly generated and are not unlimited. I'm not an IT guy, but I do know that the protocol has a meaning and rules that allow it to identify and find network nodes. This places inherent limits on the number of addresses that can be generated under the current protocol. It's like telephone numbers--if telephone numbers were randomly generated, you would never run out, but if telephone numbers were randomly generated, they wouldn't serve their function of being able to connect one particular phone with another particular phone. This story is being reported by CNN, the Telegraph of London and dozens of other reputable sites, and appears to have a Wikipedia entry as well. If you think this story is fake, you need to share your logic and evidence with us. If you are just joking, or don't know what you are talking about, please stop spreading ignorance. There's already enough of it in the world.

  4. Thanks Zorro. To anonymous: even if they were randomly generated, and they are not, there would still be a finite number of available numbers within a 9 digit range. Try it for yourself on a smaller scale, say from 1 to 100. At some point all of the numbers between 1 and 100 will have been used and you will begin repeating. The phone number analogy is apt. That's the reason there are area codes. With area codes you can repeat numbers just by adding the new area code. This is why were I live we have been through 3 area codes in 10 years.


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