From the beginning of November 2019, the reserves of "classic" IP addresses using IPv4 format will be missing. Another protocol called IPv6 should take over.

The deadline is concretized. As of November 7, 2019 The Internet will not stop working but will stop growing. By this date, all possible combinations of "classic" IP addresses (IPv4) will have been generated. As a result, there is a shortage of these Web identity cards, which allow each machine, from the home computer to the server hosted in a datacenter, to have a unique identifier.

This shortage is far from taking the Internet by surprise. When it was founded in 1983, the IPv4 protocol was not designed to embrace all active connected objects today. All IPv4 addresses are indeed composed of 32 binary digits, consisting of 0 or 1. The number of combinations to create is limited and around 4 billion.

Once this volume is exceeded, in early November, the RIPE, the European body that allocates IP addresses to telecom companies, will no longer be able to distribute.


Faced with this imminent shortage, several actors took the lead. Some websites are already specializing in the auction of IP addresses. Thus or well named ipv4brokers and ipv4mall. The Internet regulator, believes that the prices of these addresses should "fly away" to "double within two years". The cap of 100 euros per IP address, against 30 euros on average currently, is also possible.

Mid-September 2019, Heficed, a company specialized in the management of IP addresses and their monetization, revealed the existence of a massive diversion of IP addresses, for the equivalent of 30 million of dollars.


IP address providers have also been prepared in their own way. Orange, for example, has 30 million addresses in reserve, reports Challenges. Similar observation for the three other large operators who have their own stocks. "New entrants will have a hard time getting IPv4 addresses, which will be a real barrier to entry for them".


Other Internet service providers have, for a long time, opted for a parade, pooling these meager resources, using Carrier-Grade NAT or CGN, which allows to provide the same IP address to several Internet users at a time.

The method is not without risks. It rhymes with a slower connection, the impossibility of playing certain games but especially security problems. Because how to be certain, within the framework of an investigation, to get hold of the good suspect if the IP address which it uses is shared by several people.


Once all these addresses have been allocated, everything will not be lost. Another protocol, IPv6, which has existed since the 1990s, should be taken over. It is based on a new format of addresses, almost unlimited. This protocol would indeed meet the needs of 667 million billion devices connected to the Internet on every millimeter of land surface!

"The shortage is anticipated since 1995". It motivated the development of IPv6 at that time, and its adoption has been slow because its main advantage lies in the approach of this shortage and many sites and suppliers have unfortunately not seen fit to prepare for it. as long as she did not hit them directly.