Running out of Internet addresses: What IPv4 exhaustion means for you

ARIN's announcement that it has run out of IPv4 addresses has hastened the long-awaited move to IPv6. Here's what you need to know about the changeover.

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We reached the end of an Internet era just a few weeks ago. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the body that distributes Internet addresses in North America, announced it had exhausted its pool of numbers based on the IPv4 standard. Though invisible to users, IPv4 played a huge role in creating the Internet as we know it by facilitating the connection of millions of computers, smartphones, tablets, and smart devices.

That was its ultimate—and perhaps inevitable—undoing. By enabling this vast network of connected devices, it helped spawn more Internet users and devices and than it could ever accommodate. The news has hastened a transition to IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol that’s been waiting in the wings for more than a dozen years. And while this newer standard is the ultimate answer for supporting our growing array of connected thermostats, watches, cars, and other smart devices, there are a few things you need to know to prepare for the change.

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