The internet is full, there's no IP addresses left

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The internet is now officially too big. The North American company which assigns IP addresses in North America has had to turn down a request to issue a new batch as it has run out of numbers.

An IP address is the online fingerprint which can identify every computer and smart device on the internet - a newer more robust identification system is being rolled out.

These numbers are administered by five nonprofit regional organisations - the American Registry for Internet Numbers cannot issue any new numbers.

The significance of this milestone is that it means that the architects who designed the world wide web never envisaged it growing to its current size.

We've know that this day was coming - a new alternative system has been running in parallel with the old IP addresses - so the actual disruption experienced by users should be minimal.

The old system had 4.3 billion combinations - the new one (IPv6) has some 340 trillion trillion trillion combinations.

This is what the actual number looks like:

340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 - hopefully this should keep us going, but you never know...

 

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