With the exhaustion of IPv4 Internet addresses, the entire Internet needs to be upgraded to IPv6–everything from Web sites to smartphones, from networked gaming consoles to routers that pass information across the Internet. Now that the day of depletion is near, providers are scrambling to avert an internet crisis. Once the transition is complete, individual IP addresses can be assigned to phones, computers, cars, stereo components, living-room thermostats, heads-up display glasses, wristwatches, home solar panels and more, and these devices will be able to communicate directly without the network address translation necessary today.
“At the time, just a few years into the Internet’s history, he decided to use 32-bit Internet addresses. But 2 to the 32nd power, about 4.3 billion, looks a lot smaller in 2011 than in 1977.
‘Who the hell knew how much address space we needed?’ Cerf told journalists in Sydney, Australia, recently.”