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U.S. To Run out of Internet Addresses this Summer

Cables are connected to a server capable of handling an email server at the Washington bureau of The Associated Press on Thursday, March 5, 2015. It’s not always a room filled with wires and glowing lights. It’s probably not even the size of your furnace. The personal email server used by Hillary Rodham Clinton during her time as secretary of state was likely about the size of your office desktop computer and could have been tucked quietly in a corner somewhere. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

(AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Nicole Arce, TECH TIMES

(Tech Times) — The U.S. is about to run out of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses this summer. And while we’re not exactly going to see a meltdown of the Internet, businesses will definitely feel the crunch when they discover prices for Internet addresses have gone sky-high.

IP addresses are like telephone numbers; they connect one device to another. When a computer to connect to a web page, or when someone posts a video on YouTube, or when a smartphone gets updated to Android Lollipop, the numerical codes that we call IP addresses all serve to link these devices together.

In the 1980s, the engineers who created the Internet created the IPv4 specification, which carries 4.3 billion IP addresses. Back then, the engineers figured they had created enough to cover the entire Internet, but it clearly isn’t so. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) president and CEO John Curran says only 3.4 million IP addresses remains. ARIN manages the 1.3 billion IP addresses assigned to North America, or about a third of the entire global supply. By summer, all the remaining 3.4 million addresses are expected to dry up.

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U.S. To Run out of Internet Addresses this Summer