In simple words, it’s a fourth version of IP protocol established rules of computer networks operating under the principle of packages exchange. Nowadays it’s a fundamental protocol of lower-layer responsible for connection setup binding nodes on IP addresses basis.
As usual, IPv4 addresses are casted in the form of four decimal digits from 0 to 255 devised by dot symbols. For example, minimum usable address is 0.0.0.0, and highest possible is 255.255.255.255. But depending on the need, other representations are possible.
Take for an example 18.104.22.168 (in decimal form):
- Binary value is 10111000.00100111011;
- Hexadecimal value is B8.277143642DD;
- Octonary value is 270.11670503310 etc.
The main problem of IPv4
IPv4 includes more than 4 billion registered machine tools. The first IPv4 were implemented thirty years ago, and then no one could imagine that this number can be incomplete for proper internet network operation. Of course, they had no idea that the cyberspace would become so popular and form integral part of human life, that IPv4 addresses would dwindle away. There are two main factors helped their exhaustion. First of all, and more evident one, is a number of internet users count for 2 billion and increases every moment. The second one is a growing demand on internet hosting coming from mobile devices that require a unique IP address.
IPv4 exhaustion impacts
This situation influences over all internet users. In a certain sense, IP addresses unavailability means the Internet utilization for full capacity and inability accessing with new machine tools.
For another thing, such deficit will create new IP addresses market and bring us to pay for previously free resource. It has an effect on internet providers forced to create new technology and invest massively in it to overcome this problem.
How should the problem be solved?
1. Straightening of control over IPv4 addresses.
One of the ways to reduce IPv4 addresses flow is to increase control over numbers assignment between internet register.
2. New IPv4 addresses preservation methods
Fortunately, newest approaches and mechanism are created. The most demonstrative example is virtual hosting that keeps few domains in one server and requires for one IP address.
3. New technique implementation
The following version of IP – Ipv6, was intended to solve a number of challenges related to network exhaustion. Nevertheless, for various technical and economic reasons, it did not happen. But IPv6 is still regarded as future basic internet protocol, and transition to it will be a prime factor of the global network further development.
Experts can’t figure on the results of free IPv4 numbers’ quantity reduction. Some of them believe that internet providers don't be so tragic about it, they will practice NAT routing and keep calm. Others suppose that addresses exhaustion will motive to initiate massive transition to IPv6 system. One way or another, we will have interesting time.