Doug Blakemore (29 Jan 2011)
"Internet running out of IP addresses"


Saw this article yesterday (Friday) and had to respond.  That article
is FULL of errors and misconceptions.

IPv4 runs on 4 sets of 3 numbers usually identified as 255.255.255.255
 This is the absolutely highest number physically possible even though
it does not look like it.  This is because IP addresses are actually
stored as a binary number and there is no more than 8 binary digits
provided for each of the sections.  Add up the 4 binary digits
(represented by 11111111) and the highest this adds up to in binary is
the number 255 in normal decimal.  If you need this explained further
I will be happy to but there are thousands of web pages for you to
look at that give a very good discussion on it.

Ipv4 has technically run out of IP addresses years ago.  Nothing new.
However there are several tricks being used today to extend them
significantly.  One of the main methods is to use a system called NAT
which is to allow multiple machines behind the NAT server to be able
to access the Internet using the exact same IP address.  Behind a
Class C Nat (192.168.0.xxx) you can have up to 255 IP addresses using
the same single IP addresses going forward on the other side of the
nat.  If you ever see an IP address that starts with 192.168 then it
is almost a guarantee that it is behind a NAT since any IP address
beginning with that number is not allowed on the Internet.  It MUST be
changed.  If you have a home network, wireless network at home or work
in a small office area, it is almost a given that you are actually
using one of these NAT servers.  They are built into almost every home
wireless access point and most home routers.There is also a Class B
NAT address option and a class A NAT address option that allows for
millions of IP addresses behind the NAT tables to be represented by
just 1 IP address going forward.

Now for IPv 6.  It is still new and the reason we have not fully
adopted it yet is because there is a lot of old equipment that is not
ipv6 compatible.  I believe there are 14 Trillion Trillion IP
addresses in version 6.  We are not going to run out in our lifetime
no matter how many computers, iPads and smart phones we use.

Even if we were running out of IP addresses there is no direct
relationship between running out of IP addresses and the speed of the
Internet.  The speed of the Internet depends on things such as the
speed of servers, the number of servers available, the quality and
type of cabling used, the number and quality of routers to manage
network traffic and things like that.  The more people use the
Internet the busier it gets and can at times slow down.  At that time,
what is needed is to increase infrastructure capacity and the speed
issue begins to go away.

Hope this helps a bit.  Would not want to see any IP address hording
going on out there!  ;-)

MARANATHA!

Doug