|The IPv6 launch has expanded the number of Internet |
addresses to 340 undecillion.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- One of the crucial mechanisms powering the Internet got a giant, years-in-the-making overhaul on Wednesday.
When we say "giant," we're not kidding. Silly-sounding huge number alert: The Internet's address book grew from "just" 4.3 billion unique addresses to 340 undecillion (that's 340 trillion trillion trillion). That's a growth factor of 79 octillion (billion billion billion).
If it all goes right, you won't notice a thing. And that's the point.
The Internet is running out of addresses, and if nothing were done, you certainly would notice. New devices simply wouldn't be able to connect.
To prevent that from happening, the Internet Society, a global standards-setting organization with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland; and Reston, Va., has been working for years to launch a new Internet Protocol (IP) standard called IPv6.
IP is a global communications standard used for linking connected devices together. Every networked device -- your PC, smartphone, laptop, tablet and other gizmos -- needs a unique IP address.
With IPv6, there are now enough IP combinations for everyone in the world to have a billion billion IP addresses for every second of their life. READ MORE