Web address system faces changes

The way the internet handles website domains is going to change, following an update to the core "addressing system".

If we continue with the current way of allocating web addresses, we will run out of available domain names by 2011.

So the internet's master address book is being updated to include records written in a new format, IP version 6, which will help to create millions of new potential web addresses.

The problem occurs because people and the internet use two different methods to call up web pages: we type words into the address bar of our browser, whereas our computers translate that into a string of numbers to find the page that you are looking for. This numerical string is taken from the internet's master address book of domains.

Most numerical web addresses are currently written in IP version 4, but from today, the internet's root servers will also be able to handle records written in IP version 6. It means that computers and servers that use IP version 6 will be able to bypass IP version 4 completely when retrieving pages on the net.

Although the impact of this highly technical switch will be felt mainly behind the scenes, there is a possibility that at some point in the future, customers may have to upgrade some of their home computing equipment, such as internet routers, to handle these new long addresses. However, experts stress that such upgrades are a long way off.

News source: Telegraph

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