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Is the Internet of Things responsible for the death of IPv4?

There are many devices that we use nowadays that depend on the internet the work properly. From televisions to home lighting, these objects can now be purchased with sensors and technology that give them the ability to communicate with other devices. These objects are all interconnected through a web that collects information. They are called the Internet of Things or IoT for short. 

Back on the first of January in 1983, a new internet protocol was established, Internet Protocol or IPv4. This day is considered the birthday of the internet, as before the internet protocol was established, the computer networks that existed had no way of communicating with each other. With the internet protocol, devices such as the ones in the Internet of Things can communicate with each other. But in 1983, there was a bit over 4 billion IPv4 which were given out for free. This was supposed to be enough to sustain us for a really long time until it didn’t.

What exactly is the Internet of Things?

IoT or the Internet of Things is a network of everyday objects that contain technology like sensors and software that helps them connect to the internet to exchange data. Any device that is marketed as a smart device or a Bluetooth device, those are part of the Internet of Things.

Did IoT really exhaust IPv4?

Any device that is in need of the internet to communicate with other devices will need an IPv4 address to do so. The thing about the Internet Protocol version 4 is that every computer or device that needs one, will get a unique one. No two IPv4 addresses are the same. Back in 1983, people never thought there would be a thing such as the Internet of Things, a network that would breed thousands of different devices that would need their own IPv4. Although IoT was not the sole responsible for the exhaustion of the IPv4 addresses, there were actually other factors that also played a part. But IoT did do a fair amount of damage.


The aftermath

Now that the IPv4 addresses are exhausted, what now? Well, the aftermath of the exhaustion spawned an exchange market for IPv4 addresses. People can sell, buy, or even lease IPv4 addresses. The price for a single one keeps going higher as time goes on.