Browse Definitions :

IPv6 addresses – how many is that in numbers?

Writing for Business

IPv6 is our Word of the Day today. The big difference between it andIPv4 is the increase in address space. IPv4 addresses are 32 bits; IPv6 addresses are 128 bits. That’s a lot more, for sure, but what does it look like in numbers? What could we compare it to in real-world terms?

DevDevin did the math:

How many IP addresses does IPv6 support? Well, without knowing the exact implementation details, we can get a rough estimate based on the fact that it uses 128 bits. So 2 to the power of 128 ends up being 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 unique IP addresses.

How do you say that, though?  340 trillion, 282 billion, 366 million, 920 thousand, 938 — followed by 24 zeroes.  There’s no short way to say it in numbers without resorting to math. 

Here’s how Wikipedia expresses it:

The very large IPv6 address space supports a total of 2128 (about 3.4×1038) addresses – or approximately 5×1028 (roughly 295) addresses for each of the roughly 6.5 billion (6.5×109) people alive today. In a different perspective, this is 252 addresses for every observable star in the known universe.

 Steve Leibson takes a shot at putting it in real world terms. It’s big — grains of sand don’t even enter into it. No, he’s got to take it to the atomic level. Here’s his conclusion:

So we could assign an IPV6 address to EVERY ATOM ON THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH, and still have enough addresses left to do another 100+ earths. It isn’t remotely likely that we’ll run out of IPV6 addresses at any time in the future.

Rob Elamb takes a shot at expressing the number of possible IPv6 addresses in words:

First of all, he’s more precise with his numbers: 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456

And he shows us how to say it:

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

So, all words, that would look like:

Three hundred and forty undecillion, two hundred and eighty-two decillion, three hundred and sixty-six nonillion, nine hundred and twenty octillion, nine hundred and thirty-eight septillion, four hundred and sixty-three sextillion, four hundred and sixty-three quintillion, three hundred and seventy-four quadrillion, six hundred and seven trillion, four hundred and thirty-one billion, seven hundred and sixty-eight million, two hundred and eleven thousand, four hundred and fifty-six.

That’s a big number.  

IPv4 allowed for four billion IP addresses, which must have seemed like plenty at the time. I guess the assumption was that not everyone on the planet would want an IP address and nobody’s coffee maker or toaster would need one. Just goes to show you, you never know.

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

SearchCompliance
  • ISO 31000 Risk Management

    The ISO 31000 Risk Management framework is an international standard that provides businesses with guidelines and principles for ...

  • pure risk

    Pure risk refers to risks that are beyond human control and result in a loss or no loss with no possibility of financial gain.

  • risk reporting

    Risk reporting is a method of identifying risks tied to or potentially impacting an organization's business processes.

SearchSecurity
  • Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)

    Pretty Good Privacy or PGP was a popular program used to encrypt and decrypt email over the internet, as well as authenticate ...

  • email security

    Email security is the process of ensuring the availability, integrity and authenticity of email communications by protecting ...

  • Blowfish

    Blowfish is a variable-length, symmetric, 64-bit block cipher.

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • fault-tolerant

    Fault-tolerant technology is a capability of a computer system, electronic system or network to deliver uninterrupted service, ...

  • synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication is the process of copying data over a storage area network, local area network or wide area network so ...

SearchStorage
  • direct access

    In computer storage, direct access is the process of reading and writing data on a storage device by going directly to where the ...

  • kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi, pebi and exbi

    Kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi, pebi and exbi are binary prefix multipliers that, in 1998, were approved as a standard by the ...

  • holographic storage (holostorage)

    Holographic storage is computer storage that uses laser beams to store computer-generated data in three dimensions.

Close