The Internet is FULL – Numberphile

The Internet is FULL – Numberphile


JAMES CLEWETT: I mean, the
important point is that the internet is full. That’s the tabloid headline. The internet is full. There’s now so many machines
attached to the internet that there is no way that
they can all have their own unique address. Not the way we’re currently
addressing them. All right. Well, the number is
4,294,967,296. A packet is what happens to the
information that you’re trying to send on
the internet. Your computer breaks it down
into bit-sized chunks, and it sends it off bundled up. It’s like putting it
in an envelope. And on the front of the
envelope, it writes this unique number, which is the IP
address, and sends it off across the internet. And then every router, every
switch that it encounters as it travels down the internet,
looks at the number on the front and goes, ah, I know
where to send that. And it weaves its way, not
in any unique manner– actually, it’s a very random
process– but it weaves its way through the internet routers
and eventually finds your machine. So essentially, every machine
is addressed by a unique number, because computers
cannot, they don’t have written addresses. And they’re all designed in
such a way that they are stored in a 32-bit number. Now what that basically means is
that you’ve got 32 lines of 1 or 0, the binary value. And that means that there must
be some limit to how big a value you can store. And that value– well, if you
remember, we did in the Pac-Man video the biggest value
you can store in an 8-bit number. OK, well, that’s 2
to the power 8. The biggest value you can store
in a 32-bit number is 2 to the power 32. So I mean, that’s the headline
The internet is full. And what I mean by that is that
on the 3rd of February last year, the authority that
hands out numbers to the agencies that then manage who
gets what address handed out their last value. So there are no more. So if you’re now a new company,
and you want to set up a business and have your own
website and have your own address for people to come and
see you, there’s none left. Simple as that. It’s full. Well, I mean, there’s various
things that are being done to mitigate the problem. They’re going back through the
addresses that they’ve handed out in the past, and they’re
looking to see if they’re being used. And if they’re not being used,
then they’re harvesting them to hand them out again. It’s not really going to solve
the problem for very long. So we need to take a wholly
new approach, and that approach is to throw away the
32-bit solution– as always with computers. You throw away the small ones. Remember when we used to have
8-bit computers, and we could count up to 256, and
that was fine? But eventually, we wanted to
count to more than 256. So we threw those away, and
we got new computers. And they could count
up to 65,536. And then we wanted to count to
bigger numbers than that, so we threw those ones away, too,
and we brought in 32-bit computers, which is what most of
our viewers will be using. And 32-bit computers can count
up to 4 billion, which is quite a big number. But even that is beginning
to reach its limit. So now we’re starting to build
computers that can count up to 2 to the 64. And I’ve just realized that
you’re now going to ask me what that number is,
and I don’t know. So down here we’ve got the
32-bit computers that we’re now throwing away in
our laboratory, because we’ve moved on. We’re on to 64-bit computing
now, so we can count to really big numbers. Around your home, there’s an
awful lot of things connected to the internet– primarily your phone and your
computer, at the moment, or your tablet computer. And then there’s crazy people
who want to connect your washing machine and
your fridge and your house’s heating. There’s all sorts of ideas about
things you could connect to the internet. And every one of those
needs to be addressed in some unique way. Because if it’s not got a unique
address, then that introduces confusion. If two things have got the same
address, and I want to talk to them, if I’m
a computer– which, you know, some
people think– and I want to send information,
then if two things have got the same
address, I don’t know which one of those two I’m trying
to communicate with. Most businesses, like the
University of Nottingham, where we are, have dynamic
allocation of addresses. So you switch your machine on,
and some server somewhere says, ah, yes, you’ll
need an address, and hands it an address. And that’s only valid for
while it’s switched on. But of course, the server can
only hand out a certain amount of addresses. It’s only got maybe
65,000 addresses that it can hand out. Probably fewer than that. Obviously, at some point,
it runs out. And that tends to be
what’s happening. The biggest problem that we’re
seeing at the moment is just dynamic allocation of IP
addresses, a thing called DHTP, failing because companies
are running out of their own IP addresses. And so they have to
go back for more. BRADY: So for example, the
university here can only hand out from a finite number
of addresses that it already owns? JAMES CLEWETT: That’s right. It has to request addresses
from a regional authority. And the regional authority here
covers Europe and about half of Asia, Russia,
and the Middle East. And then there are regional
authorities for Oceania and China and Africa and Latin
America and North America. And the regional authorities
request addresses from an international authority. And if you trace it all back,
eventually this is all funded by the US Defense Department,
which is a little bit sad. No, I like the US Defense
Department. They’re good people. And, I– oh dear. They’ve handed out the last
of their IP addresses. They’ve handed out this many to
the regional authorities. The regional authorities
are expected to run out sometime this year. Problem. The solution to this problem is
that we are going to change from IP version 4, which has
been around since I think about 1981, sometime around
then, and we’re going to change to IP version 6. I don’t know what happened
to IP version 5. Now IP version 6 is based
on 128-bit number. Now 128 bits, just to put that
in some sort of perspective, what that means is that every
person can have billions upon billions upon billions
of devices each. So we’re not going to run out
of space any time soon with IP version 6. The problem now is
a human problem. There’s a whole bunch of
companies out there who are running the routers and the
switches around the internet, which are passing information
from one machine to another machine, that need to upgrade
their routers to IPv6. And they’re not doing it. There’s a very, very slow
uptake, and purely for economic reasons, I presume. It’s an effort. And you’ve got to pay somebody
to make that effort. And so it’s just not
getting done. The adoption’s appalling. The 8th of June, 2011 and the
6th of June, this year, 2012, were test days for IP version
6, where there was a certain amount of uptake. Companies were encouraged to
switch on their IPv6 and provide their material
through IPv6. And it all went smoothly. Nobody noticed. Brilliant. So we’re getting there,
slowly but surely. BRADY: The web address
of Numberphile is www.numberphile.com. JAMES CLEWETT: Right. BRADY: What’s going on there? JAMES CLEWETT: That’s
not its web address. That’s some human-readable
form. So as well as providing you
with a unique number, what your internet service provider
is doing is using a thing called domain names. It has a table which ties
that domain name to the unique number. Because if we were all having
to wander around remembering the unique 32-bit number for all
of our favorite websites, whether that is Sixty Symbols
or Numberphile or Test Tube, or– you choose which one
you like the most. We’d forget them, right? Because that’s too many. So at some point– and I don’t
know when– somebody had the bright idea of just tying a
meaningful name to these things, and that’s what
you’re remembering.

100 thoughts on “The Internet is FULL – Numberphile

  1. Very basic to the point of being meaningless and incorrect… Ip address are assigned in blocks. If you look at the number of companies with A blocks, and some companies own 2 a blocks, the vast number of ip address are wasted. Why does anyone's home need a ton of ip addresses? Almost everything should be connected to a router using private addresses, with only 1 external facing ip. Phones need separate addresses, but even this can be avoided if telecoms used routed ip addresses on their cell networks, I don't know if they do.

  2. "It all traces back to the US Defense Department. " Well, yeah. Since the current form of the internet grew out of ARPANET that makes total sense, actually.

  3. Here you are misinforming rather than bringing actual facts about how the Internet, IP addresses (v4 and v6), DNS, local networks,etc, actually works. And that title: Really?

  4. Just use 64 bit .-. no-one is buying 32 bit computers anymore, and even with regular computers, ADC (Add Carry) is for that exactly.

  5. No. With 8 bits you can count up to 255, not 256. That requires 9 bits. With 16 bits you can count up to 65535. You need 17 bits for 65536.

  6. This guy's talking as if every device gets a different public IP. Routers give local IPs and then the modem is the only device getting a public IP.Please slap that fool.

  7. I think i's funny that since even 1990 people have been saying that we hae to upgrade to IPv6 and now we actually have to.

  8. the largest value would actually be 2 to the power 33 – 1 because 2 to the power 32 is only the largest bit not all the bits

  9. Your refrigerator is made by "SMEG", I don't think I could own that fridge without laughing every time I see it.

  10. Are there people who know enough to know there's a limited number of ipv4, but not aware of the fact that millions of computers are using local addressing ( e.g. 10.0.0.1) Or aware of ipv6? People said phone numbers had the same issue, but somehow people are still getting phone numbers 🙂 I didn't know anyone said rooters for routers 🙂

  11. its actually more complicated than that most homes get one ipv4 address and each device gets a non routable address behind that address much like how apartment numbers work

  12. I imagine that they skipped IPv5 because in the past they had been incrementing by 8 (8, 16, 32) but then they decided to skip 64 bit IP addresses and went straight to 128 bit addresses.

  13. What? I was typing a comment and YouTube just went to the next video?

    I was saying there are fewer than 4,294,967,296 IP addresses in use on the Internet. All the RFC 1918 addresses, as well as numbers beginning with 0 ("Discovery"), 127 ("Loopback") and 224-255 (Multicast and "Reserved") make up a big chunk of addresses you'll never see, along with a bunch of others. My calculation that is 592,708,864 addresses (13.8% of the number given) not usable. This doesn't even include address ranges like 1.1.1.x and 1.2.3.x that are informally reserved, plus some companies and the DOD have large blocks that may not actually be in use.

  14. 4,294,967,296 may look like some crazy random number, but It converts to 100000000000000000000000000000000 in binary.

  15. Delete from the internet everything he has created a child under 13 years and you will get alot of terabytes (or zetabytes?) free space on whole internet

  16. I know this video is 4 years old but even then most people viewing these videos, at least on PC, were using 64 bit computers.

  17. Even with a 64-bit we could have each person owning billions upon billions of devices each….. Not sure why a 128-bit was needed…..

  18. The wrong thing that you said on the beginning, is that all hosts got unique address IP. Your computer could get the same IP as mine, because we are in our own private networks, and that's why server DHCP(which in private network is router), can allow us to have same IPs. The "unique" number, which also can be changed, sa it's not really unique – is MAC address which packs in 128 bits in every interface manufacture produce.

  19. When we'll upgrade from IPv4 to IPv6 this problem won't even arise, with all the combinations of addresses in the IPv6 you'll be able to address every atom in the visible universe multiple times. Before 2020 we'd have already upgraded.

  20. One slight correction: A switch doesn't look at the IP adress because it's usually a layer 2 device. It rather holds a database of MAC adresses to the respective port which would be a 48-bit number. There are "Layer-3-Switches" but they would be called a router by every IT person I know. Oh and please don't say "n-Bit computers can count up to 2^n", they can adress 2^n would be much more accurate because my C64 had no issues other than time and energy to count to many thousands with a for-loop.

  21. Why is he assuming we are watching this on 32 bits… Amd invented 64 bit in the early 2000s and every single CPU since then was 64 bit.

  22. It was pretty sad in mid-2012 but now in mid-2017, about 20% of the world already uses IPv6 and the trend still continues to rise exponentially (source: statistics of Google)

  23. Are universities / collages not behind a NAT router, I know that there's only enough IPv4 addresses for 57% of the world population (based on current value from google of 7.5 B people) to have their own IPv4 address but with NAT technology it seams like that shouldn't be a problem. Most families have 1, most business only need 1-3 (based on separate lines for IP-phone network, computers/printers, and camera systems). Even cell providers could (and if I recall correctly some already have) switch to NAT routers for issuing IP addresses. I know that there are exceptions to this (I myself am one as I have 2 ISPs for my home, 1 Cable and 1 DSL as fallback if the cable line goes out). I'm not a sysadmin but from what I do know, I just don't really understand why we would have run out without being wasteful with them anyway. Oh well.

  24. Okay, it's really 7/8th of the ~4 billion number listed. Everything beginning with 224 through 239 is a multicast number and 240 through 255 is Class E which is marked reserved for experimental use (I think — I know they can't be used. There are other exceptions, but they don't amount to much (compared to the first blocks mentioned). Anyway, I'm almost 100% positive every modern operating system would refuse to send a packet to an address beginning with 240 on up. I know the multicast addresses are already handled differently at the lowest (kernel) level of current operating systems. (Multicast addresses are addresses where information sent to them is designed to be delivered to multiple machines, on multiple networks that can be large distances apart. They can't be assigned to individual computers. But they never really caught on, except for local uses (routing protocols, uPnP, and so on).

  25. 42 ok but what is the question? we never find out because of the vogons. however, i think i know the question that quite possibly qualifies as the ultimate question of life the universe and everything …. "what is your age?" now, 42 is a damn fine age for all sorts of things from dating apps to job applications to treadmill machines. you know what i mean?

  26. I remember the internet said a website like google or YT ran out of numbers so they had to get a higher n-bit. It was trending and some technical people thought it was a joke but they were actually serious.

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