Sorry This Internet Is Full. Try Again Later.


Between smartphones, e-readers, gaming consoles, and new computers, the Internet is about to run out of addresses for all of the devices that want to connect to it. Internet protocol addresses, or IPs, are the unique numerical label assigned that help direct online traffic — and help websites know just where to deliver your porn. The system we’re currently using, IPv4, allows for 4.3 billion possible addresses. That seemed like a lot in the seventies when it was invented, but by end of last year, there were just 117 million left. Before you panic and smash your roommate’s Wii to make room in case you get your hands on that mythical white iPhone 5, relax. Much like when the telephone companies switched over to ten-digit dialing, there’s already a plan in place for IP version six, or IPv6. A permanent switchover, which could affect some older operating systems and home routers, is still years off. But companies like Facebook, Yahoo, and Google have already been preparing and plan to test it out on World IPv6 Day this coming June. Let’s hope it goes as smoothly as Y2K — minus the hysteria.

Web Running Out of Addresses [WSJ via NYO]