How many addresses can IPv6 hold?
I don’t know which idiot (or idiots) decided to go with IPv4 when developing a “world-wide network”.
IPv4 (even with NAT) has already approached it’s limits (see IPv4 address exhaustion).
IPv6 is the future.
264 = 1.844674407 x 1019 is IPv6’s standard subnet size.
2128 = 3.402823669 x 1038 is IPv6’s address space size.
IPv6 has an address space size of 2128 and a standard subnet size of 264, but anyone can throw around a bunch of numbers, let’s instead use a number comparison chart so you can see how the numbers compare.
The numbers in this chart are listed in ascending order (lowest to highest) in scientific notation (mostly).
|1.600 x 101||Average number of shark attacks per year in the US.|
|1.050 x 102||Years since Einstein began imagining up General Relativity (as of 2012).|
|8.760 x 103||Hours in a year.|
|3.271 x 104||Deaths caused by motor vehicles in the US in 2010.|
|3.285 x 104||People who committed suicide in Japan in the year 2009.|
|1.600 x 105||Base pairs in endosymbiotic bacteria.|
|8.700 x 106||Number of species that exist in the world.|
|4.594 x 107||Internet users in Nigeria as of 2010.|
|1.113 x 108||Superbowl viewers in 2012.|
|4.295 x 109||IPv4 address space size (32-bit).|
|4.434 x 109||Earth’s total human population size in the year 1980.|
|6.634 x 1011||John D. Rockafeller’s total net worth in 2007 US dollars.|
|5.660 x 1013||US total debt (as of the time that this post was made) in US dollars.|
|7.500 x 1018||Estimated number of grains of sand on all the beaches in the world.|
|1.845 x 1019||IPv6 standard subnet size (64-bit).|
|3.260 x 1020||Estimated number of gallons of water in the world.|
|1022||Estimated number of stars in the universe.|
|4.339 x 1026||Nanoseconds that have passed since the Big Bang.|
|3.156x 1031||Unique IPv6 addresses that would be assigned after 1 trillion years if a new IPv6 address was assigned at every picosecond.|
|3.403 x 1038||IPv6 address space size (128-bit).|
|1063||Archimedes’ estimate of how many grains of sand would fill the universe.|
|1081||Estimated total number of atoms in the universe.|
|1.798 x 10308||Max value of a 1024-bit or 1 kilobit unsigned integer.|
|101050||Possible chess games.|
|Infinity||Prime numbers that exist.|
NOTE: A maximum of 4 significant figures are displayed in this chart (mostly).
Given IPv6’s address space size and IPv6’s standard subnet size it would be virtually impossible for IPv6 to ever reach it’s limitations.
IPv6’s standard subnet size alone is over 2.4 times greater than the total number of grains of sand on all the beaches in the world.
IPv6’s address space size is literally over 10 million trillion times the total number of grains of sand on all the beaches in the world.
To give people another idea of how large the address space is, if each human being on Earth, each grain of sand on all the beaches in the world, each gallon of water, each nanosecond that passed since the Big Bang, and each star in the universe had all been assigned their own unique IPv6 address there would be still be easily more than 3.4 x 1038 unique IPv6 addresses leftover remaining. That’s how large the IPv6 address space is.
We also know with 100% certainty that we would never ever have to worry about the unique IPv6 addresses space limitations because if a new unique IPv6 address was assigned at every picosecond (one trillionth of a second) even after a period of one trillion years there would still be lots and lots of unique IPv6 addresses available.
So we can really freely assign as many unique IPv6 addresses as we want without having to worry about anything.
The quicker people switch to IPv6 the better!