According to Internet co-founding father and Google Vice President Vint Cerf, the world could run out of web addresses within a matter of weeks. Mr Vint Cerf, Google’s vice-president, who helped create the Web by connecting computers, using Internet Protocol addresses, said it was his “fault” that the 4.3 billion addresses created were running out, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
As many might know, Cerf was one of the founders of the world wide web, and the creator of the web protocol IPv4, which was created as an experiment by the US defense department looking for a way to connect computers globally. The unique numbers, which are known as Internet Protocol addresses, help identify the world’s networked devices. An IP address uses four numbers from 0 to 255 to mark a computer from another.
In 1977, Mr Cerf created the web protocol, IPv4, which connects computers globally, as part of an experiment, while working with the US Department of Defense. He said he never expected his experiment “wouldn’t end”.
“I thought it was an experiment and I thought that 4.3 billion would be enough to do an experiment,” Mr Cerf, the “Chief Internet Evangelist”, was quoted as saying in an interview.
The shortage means that every web server, every iPhone, every router and everything else — possibly billions of devices — will need to be reconfigured or upgraded. Computers now use IP version 4 and have since the 1980s. Its replacement is version 6, known as IPv6.
Looking like 2001:0DB8:AC10:FE01:0000:0000:0000:0000, IPv6 can handle about 340 billion billion billion billion different addresses. The only problem? IPv4 and IPv6 can’t talk to each other – so the transition of billions of Internet addresses could cost billions of euro. Luckily for humans (web users), little will change.