U.S. to Run Out of IP Addresses this Summer – Shift to IPv6 Inevitable?


Uh oh! That sounds bad. Well, not so much. According to latest reports, U.S. is going to run out of web addresses comes this summer. Which essentially means the prices are going to be crazy high!

Summer to witness Internet addresses shortage:

When we access any webpage, we are actually kind of dialing the phone number of that site from our own device known as IP address in tech speak. This IP address is what allows you to contact to the server that is hosting the requested site.

IP addresses are the Internet’s equivalent of telephone numbers. These numerical codes are different from the familiar top-level domain names that end in .com or .org. They are used behind the scenes anytime data moves over the Net—when a laptop requests a Web page, a smartphone posts an Instagram photo or a Nest thermostat downloads a software update.

What if the world consumes all of the available IP addresses?

Seems like Web is growing out of its clothes that were tailored back in late 70s. According to the Wall Street Journal [excerpt above], the availability of web addresses will soon be completely tapped out. This shortage of addresses means some major costs that U.S. businesses will have to incur if they want to expand their businesses on the Internet as the prices of IP addresses touch the sky.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Sandra Brown, president of the IPv4 Market Group, who mentioned that the typical price of $11.25 for an address will no longer apply as “prices are going to rise.” IP exhaustion has already happened in Asia and Europe with the pool of U.S. set to run out soon too.


Companies like Microsoft and Salesforce have apparently hoarded up on the addresses to handle this impending shortage. On the other hand, according to the Journal, Facebook in a preemptive move shifted from IPv4 to the next-generation IPv6 sensing this upcoming shortage.

IPv6 is the next generation of the protocol which can host trillions of addresses as opposed to mere 4 billion capacity of IPv4. Considering the explosive growth of devices and connections, IPv6 is expected to become the dominant protocol by 2018. We can see why.