The IPcalypse is just over a week away

Back in November last year, we wrote that the "IPCalypse" is only 100 days away. At the time, this seemed like a long time, but the IPcalypse is coming early, with current estimates that IPv4 addressing will run out in the next 9 days.

As of writing, Hurricane Electric reports that a mere 33 million addresses are unallocated, which equates to about 2% of overall IPv4 addresses that were ever available. Neowin will be covering the effects of the IP exhaustion later this week.

IPv6 was developed to supercede IPv4 -- which was originally released in 1981 -- and was finalised in 1998, over 12 years ago, but rapid adoption was never seen, and the protocol is still not used widely. This may change shortly, it is likely there will be rapid adoption of IPv6 as newer organizations have issues obtaining the older addresses.

Some large organizations will be performing tests of IPv6 in the near future, with World IPv6 day coming up on 8 June -- even though this date is after the IPv4 exhaustion date -- where companies such as Google, Facebook and Cisco (amongst others) will be using IPv6 for 24 hours.

The IPcalypse is only 9 days away....

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It's not really something to worry about. The stacks will run parallel for a while and then it'll just be IPv6 on the WAN, but in LAN IPv4 works just fine no reason throwing that out.

Meph said,
How will ISPs give new customers an internet connection?

Most ISPs have a decent lot of IPv4 addresses that they don't use anyway. Still, even if some ISP did run out of addresses and is too stubborn to make the switch to IPv6, they can always NAT their less tech-savvy customers and end up losing their more experienced ones that actually have things running that do require they have a real IP.

jwelsh405 said,
You better hide your computer, hide your laptop, hide your iPad cuz ipv4 is raping everybody

Errm you know most home networks NAT everything out of a single IPv4 address anyway?
As do most Public WI-FI hotspots.

Unless these devices are connecting directly to the ISP they probably don't have an internet routable IP anyway.

Not sure about the US but most of the UK mobile networks MASS NAT phones anyway.

Someone confirm my understanding of this, please. Basically, there's only so many numbers you can create with so many digits, and those numbers are about to run out. So we're simply just adding on more digits? Really doesn't seem all that big an issue, we'll just have to tell our tech to look at something a few digits longer to find new stuff, while everything already assigned it's normal amount of digits is still operational. Right?

smartin0115 said,
Someone confirm my understanding of this, please. Basically, there's only so many numbers you can create with so many digits, and those numbers are about to run out. So we're simply just adding on more digits? Really doesn't seem all that big an issue, we'll just have to tell our tech to look at something a few digits longer to find new stuff, while everything already assigned it's normal amount of digits is still operational. Right?

Have you seen an IPv6 address? See the difference is in 32 versus 128 bits, so technically speaking... it's not just a few digits. Not like it matters anyway, as I don't recall the last time I called my ISP and had to provide an IP address for them to check stuff. Life will go on and the average Joe will most likely not notice any difference.

Metodi Mitov said,

Have you seen an IPv6 address? See the difference is in 32 versus 128 bits, so technically speaking... it's not just a few digits. Not like it matters anyway, as I don't recall the last time I called my ISP and had to provide an IP address for them to check stuff. Life will go on and the average Joe will most likely not notice any difference.

No, I hadn't, but thanks for affirming the suspicion.

Educated Idiot said,
So hurry up and standardize IPv6 so we can have an easy transition and get on with our lives.
IPv6 has been standardised since 1998.

Intrinsica said,
IPv6 has been standardised since 1998.

Yup.
However it underwent LOTS of modifications, including Address Space allocation, so if you read about it a few years ago, it's time for refresher, for sure... (as I have found recently when having one myself...)

TRC said,
They've been fear mongering about this for years now.

yes and i would usually agree w/ you, but it's actually serious this time. the average user will not notice any change and life will go on as normal, but 2011-2012 are finally the years to get switched to dual stack, but not native IPv6.

Jdawg683 said,

yes and i would usually agree w/ you, but it's actually serious this time. the average user will not notice any change and life will go on as normal, but 2011-2012 are finally the years to get switched to dual stack, but not native IPv6.

It will start to get serious to the point where you won't be able to ignore it anymore at the point where RIR's will run out of /24 block allocations (visible at HE.NET info page mentioned above if you click "RIR" tab) - and new servers will be assigned IPv6 only... to reach these resources you will *have to* establish a tunnel to IPv6 only space via IPv4 "legacy" internet. More and more such resources will appear, and that should ideally move people toward wider awareness about IPv6 and migration paths to it.

The *real* IPcalypse will start when RIR's will start running out of /24 blocks, not when RIR's will complete allocating IPv4 addresses.
ARIN and RIPE have both about 10% left, APNIC has 5% (but IPv6 is much wider adopted in China, Japan and South Korea), and LACNIC and AfriNIC have lots of time to ponder this (30+ and 60+ % correspondingly).

I personally can't wait for IPv6. It will be fun. BT Home Hubs and HP printers already support IPv6, my Windows 7 PC's do so, too.

tiagosilva29 said,
THE END IS COMING! REPENT!

Then stop playing with it then.....

It will be very interesting indeed to see how my ISP handles this (not that I use their DNS anyways ) but If they try and up the prices we already pay then I think the Shat will hit the fan for them

tiagosilva29 said,
THE END IS COMING! REPENT!

Pretty sad if your life is coming to an end when you don't have internet anymore....sigh

sbdb said,

Pretty sad if your life is coming to an end when you don't have internet anymore....sigh

Not like the internet is going to suddenly disappear when we run out of IPv4 addresses, you know. If you ask me, all those "THE END IS COMING" posts are people making a rather lousy joke, but whatever.

"but rapid adoption was never seen, and the protocol is still not used widely. This may change shortly" -- Probably not, since it will cost money. lol

IntelliMoo said,
"but rapid adoption was never seen, and the protocol is still not used widely. This may change shortly" -- Probably not, since it will cost money. lol

True My ISP still does not support IPv6 and they are not planning to start using it.. xD

TrOjAn. said,

True My ISP still does not support IPv6 and they are not planning to start using it.. xD


i keep askin Virgin media (UK ISP) and keep getting told we'll get back to you when more info is available. grr

My ISP just said that they are not planning yet to invest into IPv6. They make tons of money every year while they do not offer proper internet connection to their customers. That's all because of the duopoly of two ISP's in Belgium; not enough competition :-/

Lol at this panic, IPV6 are in use by government and many big companies like cisco, Level3, and so on. Old news people and that's why we have IPV6 for quite sometime. You don't need to have IPV6 on XP, you can just use IPV4 on the LAN side but with your newer router that supports IVP6 will have IPV6 addy on the external interface aka WAN IP.

andrewbares said,
Start signing up to be a sacrafice to the IP gods! They are angered! Must satisfy their blood thirst!

Give them the Virgins. Gods love virgins

jasonon said,
so is the world going to end?

You wouldn't think so.
Remember the madness before Y2K? Everyone thought the world was going to end. Months, years before the event.
The only people caring about this are a handful of tech blogs, even a lowly nine days before.

Maybe the world is just trying to be ironic. Everyone panics and nothing happens, nobody panics and the world ends! Or maybe nobodies panicking because the average person doesn't understand the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 and all the networking woes in between ("What happened to IPv5?"). Y2k was relatively easy to explain to the average person, "Clocks don't understand the year 2000, so nothing will work."

Baines said,

You wouldn't think so.
Remember the madness before Y2K? Everyone thought the world was going to end. Months, years before the event.
The only people caring about this are a handful of tech blogs, even a lowly nine days before.

Maybe the world is just trying to be ironic. Everyone panics and nothing happens, nobody panics and the world ends! Or maybe nobodies panicking because the average person doesn't understand the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 and all the networking woes in between ("What happened to IPv5?"). Y2k was relatively easy to explain to the average person, "Clocks don't understand the year 2000, so nothing will work."

if i recall correctly.... that y2k thing did effect some stuff but it was pretty much nothing. it was FAR exaggerated for sure

ThaCrip said,

if i recall correctly.... that y2k thing did effect some stuff but it was pretty much nothing. it was FAR exaggerated for sure

Actually it effected much more than just "some stuff". In 1997, 80% of the business world used Cobol for its software. Cobol originally used 2 numbers to give the year. This is what caused the whole Y2k fuss. Programmers figured out the issue and before 2000 hit, most of that 80% was fixed which amounted to having a new standard for the language that gave a 4 digit number. One of those businesses happened to be Walmart who uses Cobol for 100% of its servers on the backend. Imagine what would have happened if the entire stocking and inventory system of Walmart crashed. As retarded as it sounds, mass panic would happen if all of a sudden, USA's top supermarket ran out of food.

joker999 said,
What about cellphone, eg iPhone, iPad, etc (Internet from Vodafone, AT&T, etc) stuck with IPv4?

Devices that already have an ip4 address will be just fine. IP4 and IP6 devices can communicate back and forth just fine today via simply using an IP4 header for he IP6 packet.

In other words you do NOT have to have IP6 in order to get online even when the world switches over.

joker999 said,
What about cellphone, eg iPhone, iPad, etc (Internet from Vodafone, AT&T, etc) stuck with IPv4?

iOS 4 supports IPv6 natively (about as good as the desktop versions of OS X) Both my iPod and my HTC Aria (running Cyanogen 6) have public IPv6 addresses.

Versions prior to iOS4 are out of luck though, the first gen iPod Touch I have only has 3.1 or so, and won't get an v6 address.

war said,

Devices that already have an ip4 address will be just fine. IP4 and IP6 devices can communicate back and forth just fine today via simply using an IP4 header for he IP6 packet.

In other words you do NOT have to have IP6 in order to get online even when the world switches over.

youre a bit mistaken. IPv4 and IPv6 cannot "talk" to each other easily. you need to use a 6/4 method for communication like 6over4, 6to4, etc. IPv6-only servers will NOT be able to "talk" over IPv4 and vice versa. case-in-point - you cannot hit ipv6.google.com over IPv4.

IPv4 cannot "talk" to IPv6 by simply using a IPv4 header in the IPv6 packet. it doesnt work that way.

astroX said,
Non-techie person here ... so, what does this mean?

If your ISP run out of IPv4 adresses, you will share an IP address with your neighbour. So it will cause a lot of problems to open ports.

Lewism said,

If your ISP run out of IPv4 adresses, you will share an IP address with your neighbour. So it will cause a lot of problems to open ports.
not likely, never seen an ISP put a customer (outside of mobile and wireless) behind NAT. I don't imagine established ISPs having problems but it will prevent newcomers from obtaining their own addresses without renting or borrowing from another company, and it. Might increase the cost a little in obtaining mass quantities of useable addresses. Life will go on in the IPv4 realm andthe Internet will slowly begin to operate in dual address zone with sites operating both and separately in IPv4 and IPv6 in some combination.

Lewism said,

If your ISP run out of IPv4 adresses, you will share an IP address with your neighbour. So it will cause a lot of problems to open ports.

So basically the fix for this problem doesn't rely on me but on my ISP, is that correct? Can't I somehow 'upgrade' my modem/router to IPv6?

Yes that's correct. No, your ISP needs to give you an IP6 address first of all and you need a router that supports IPv6 out of the box.

Though dlink for example claims they can/will upgrade their line of products to IP6 via a firmware update.

astroX said,
Non-techie person here ... so, what does this mean?
It means there are no more homes left to buy. Every single home is taken. Some are even hogging homes which they could, in reality, spare. So no more new addresses, unless the landlords start giving out new homes which have longer addresses, which are, in reality, better and there are a lot more of those.

Jebadiah said,
It means there are no more homes left to buy. Every single home is taken. Some are even hogging homes which they could, in reality, spare. So no more new addresses, unless the landlords start giving out new homes which have longer addresses, which are, in reality, better and there are a lot more of those.

Exactly.

nullie said,
not likely, never seen an ISP put a customer (outside of mobile and wireless) behind NAT. I don't imagine established ISPs having problems but it will prevent newcomers from obtaining their own addresses without renting or borrowing from another company, and it. Might increase the cost a little in obtaining mass quantities of useable addresses. Life will go on in the IPv4 realm andthe Internet will slowly begin to operate in dual address zone with sites operating both and separately in IPv4 and IPv6 in some combination.

this is common practise in the more poorer countries, for example,people in South Africa are connected on just a handfull IP's.
And a single port can handle multiple streams of data with ease. Its more with limitations against spambots, cheaters etc. Which is where a normal every day internet user can walk into issues.

nullie said,
not likely, never seen an ISP put a customer (outside of mobile and wireless) behind NAT. I don't imagine established ISPs having problems but it will prevent newcomers from obtaining their own addresses without renting or borrowing from another company, and it. Might increase the cost a little in obtaining mass quantities of useable addresses. Life will go on in the IPv4 realm andthe Internet will slowly begin to operate in dual address zone with sites operating both and separately in IPv4 and IPv6 in some combination.

I have actually seen lots of our (British) mobile operators assigning NAT addresses to mobile clients all the time (e.g. O2 for sure and Vodafone, I believe, too) - 10.*.*.* something as it's so convenient. As Vodafone is global I think they would do it in all countries they are represented.

I know some lesser Russian ISP's and "Home Networks" (Internet-connected LANs straddling a block of flats) often give a NAT address as well.

Nothing will start to happen for quite a few months after they have run out. Most ISPs have a load of spare IPv4 blocks saved up for this.

tonyjr said,
Nothing will start to happen for quite a few months after they have run out. Most ISPs have a load of spare IPv4 blocks saved up for this.

+1

tonyjr said,
Nothing will start to happen for quite a few months after they have run out. Most ISPs have a load of spare IPv4 blocks saved up for this.

Not to mention that Microsoft, HP and everyone other big company at the time... were given tons of IP's that they probably still have that they are just holding on too.

All this sky is falling is just nonsense.

tonyjr said,
Nothing will start to happen for quite a few months after they have run out. Most ISPs have a load of spare IPv4 blocks saved up for this.

Oh, don't be such a killjoy. Some of these comments are hilarious. ;-)

hagjohn said,

Not to mention that Microsoft, HP and everyone other big company at the time... were given tons of IP's that they probably still have that they are just holding on too.

All this sky is falling is just nonsense.

I can confirm: HP often allocates big address chunks by 4* or 8* B-blocks, not by 1*B, and smaller ones by 8*C-blocks, not by 1*C. There's LOTS of free space in HP's 15/8 and 16/8 networks, not to mention smaller subnets. Those HP network architects sure planned with huge redundancy Thanks guys.

And just FYI the last time I configured an HP printer via Web interface, I saw IPv6 configuration present there. Also I've seen a BT(British Telecom) Home Hub (ADSL router) having IPv6 configuration, too. So when the Time Comes, we'll just add IPv6 configuration.

My HP laptop runs Windows 7 and has IPv6 enabled by default. So I won't need to do anything at all, I guess.

Salty Wagyu said,
Don't think so, I believe IPv6 isn't installed by default on XP's NIC properties.

It's not, but can be added on.

Jose_49 said,
Does this mean that Win XP is done for?

You're telling me that you're using a 10 year old OS from the year 2001, an OS that doesn't support all the latest hardware, that suffers from DLL hell which affects reliability, which is way more insecure than Vista and 7 in the year 2011, when even a netbook with a slow Atom processor can run Windows 7 Ultimate? There is something seriously wrong with you....lol...I guess you still buy vinyl records too?

sbdb said,

You're telling me that you're using a 10 year old OS from the year 2001, an OS that doesn't support all the latest hardware, that suffers from DLL hell which affects reliability, which is way more insecure than Vista and 7 in the year 2011, when even a netbook with a slow Atom processor can run Windows 7 Ultimate? There is something seriously wrong with you....lol...I guess you still buy vinyl records too?


its funny to see how people speak of WinXP with now Win7 becomming a generally used OS....
we're back to the WinME > WinXP switch...

speaking of 10 years gone by, unlike WinXP, you havent changed. As an WinXP with SP3 cannot be compared to an 10 year old OS. As WinXP has also had benefits from Vista/W7 development.

sbdb said,

You're telling me that you're using a 10 year old OS from the year 2001, an OS that doesn't support all the latest hardware, that suffers from DLL hell which affects reliability, which is way more insecure than Vista and 7 in the year 2011, when even a netbook with a slow Atom processor can run Windows 7 Ultimate? There is something seriously wrong with you....lol...I guess you still buy vinyl records too?


Nah. I'm using 7 right now, I was just wondering since I have never seen an IPV6 setting on Windows XP....

Ruran said,
Hmmm, if only this had happened in 2012! So much lost potential for panic.

Indeed. There would have been mass hysteria.