IPv6: It’s like having an address for every star in the universe, times 4.3 billion

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IPv6 is big. Really, really, really big. In fact, much bigger than anything the mere human mind can possibly understand.

But hey, it’s fun to try.

Internet Protocol version 6 is the newest version of the global internet map. The map is how a packet of computer data — like the words you are now reading — find their way from my screen to yours. Slightly more specifically, from some anonymous box in some anonymous server farm, through thousands or tens of thousands of miles of wired or wireless connections, and finally to your computer.

The old version was IPv4, and it has 4.3 billion possible addresses. That sounds like a lot, until you realize that it’s only about half the number of people on the planet, and lots of individual people on the planet are adding lots of toys that all want to talk: smartphones, TVs, tablets, cars, toasters, fridges, and sofas (I’m not so sure about the sofa part).

IPv6 has 340 trillion trillion trillion possible addresses.

That’s quite a few. In fact, it’s enough to give each star in the universe a 4.3-billion-address Internet of its own.

The switchover has already begun, this very month. To celebrate, the Internet Society put together this infographic:

Image credit: ShutterStock


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