It was in 2015 that the wide usage of IP addresses became relevant because we had run out of them. Richard Jimmerson, CIO, American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), told CBS News that they were just weeks away from reaching 0 addresses. ARIN, responsible for registering and providing IP addresses, had only 130,000 IP addresses remaining then. Comcast, an ISP provider that bought millions of them at a time, didn’t find 130,000 a satisfying number.
So what exactly is this Internet Protocol (IP) address? We ask. Every electronic device, server, and webpage connected currently has a string of unique numbers and dots. Suppose a user connects to the internet and wants to browse certain information, his device will send the request along with its IP address to a server. The server will then identify the user’s IP address and request, and respond with the IP address for the requested information. Currently, there is a combination of IPv4 and IPv6 internet protocols in use.
IPv4 was initially established by the internet providers on an experimentation basis, but as internet grew, it escaped the laboratory. Internet explosion meant that IPv4 protocol wasn’t enough to deal with the information shared and the new devices’ adoption. Thereon, internet scientists started working on IPv6 in the early 1990s, which was better and provided a greater number of addresses.