Friday, February 4, 2011

My favorite IPv6 factoids

Now that we're just about IPv4 addresses (though the situation isn't as dire as most press coverage would indicate), here are some interesting factoids about IPv6:

This week Comcast announced that any customer who wants it can get, from Comcast, a block of roughly 18 quintillion IPv6 addresses. No big deal -- there are enough IPv6 addresses for a billion Comcasts to each give that much to each of a billion customers.

The total number of IPv6 addresses is 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456. That number can be read out loud as 340 undecillion, 282 decillion, 366 nonillion, 920 octillion, 938 septillion, 463 sextillion, 463 quintillion, 374 quadrillion, 607 trillion, 431 billion, 768 million, 211 thousand, 456.

That's 100 IP addresses for every atom on the face of the earth. Even I think *that* should be enough.

For the record, in 1982, when there were just a couple hundred machines on the net, someone explained to me how this new IP thingie worked. I responded, almost instantly, "that's not enough addresses." Everyone laughed, but my reasoning was simple: IPv4 didn't even have enough addresses for one computer per person world-wide, but most people thought that that was an absurd scenario.  The world has now spent, probably, billions of dollars on a so-far unsuccessful transition.


  1. Carl Sagan would have liked "Billions and Billions" of addresses :-)

  2. Your farsightedness of yesterday has become simple common sense today. Reminds 'me' of WW ll Airforce vets during the War arguing over whether we'd ever get to the moon or not?