When we visit our favorite websites or social media platforms, we tend to forget what we are really seeing is not a bunch of images and videos but a combination of ones and zeroes from just devices talking to each other. During the early days of the Internet, programmers and engineers created a system of unique identifiers known as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses so that computers could communicate with each other over a network.
As systems grew more complex, the fourth version of this model was eventually adopted across the world, giving birth to IPv4. This created a system of 4.3 billion 32 bit numerical combinations that uniquely identify a device. Nonetheless, as we have discussed in a previous blog, the number of these addresses is quickly running out and soon they will disappear completely.
Your company’s network is the backbone to its success and, as a company expands, the number of IPv4 addresses it needs increases along with it. Without them, a company’s networks will be contained inside a much smaller space, inhibiting its ability to grow.
You Still Need IPv4
While the rise of IPv6 will be able to provide an incredible amount of new IP addresses, the transition to this from IPv4 will take some time. For this reason, unused IPv4 addresses are becoming a commodity.
Most devices from the past thirty years, as well as many devices today, still require an IPv4 address so that they can fully access the entirety of the Internet. Put simply, IPv4 and IPv6 are incompatible and until everyone upgrades to IPv6, large chunks of the Internet will be inaccessible to those who make the leap forward without backwards compatibility.
While upgrading your system will be required to accommodate the move to IPv6, you will have to continue maintaining IPv4 compatibility for approximately the next ten years so that your company’s platform will be completely accessible during this transitional period.
Now is the Time to Start Acting
As with any commodity, you need to start acquiring these addresses before demands skyrocket. Some companies have started to realize the importance of stockpiling IPv4 addresses, but it has yet to reach a critical mass. This is good for other consumers because prices are still reasonable. This, however, will quickly change once we move closer to the pool of IPv4 addresses being fully depleted.
There are several different places you can acquire more IPv4 addresses. One of the first places you can explore are organizations that have become defunct. For example, bankrupt retailer Borders sold a block of 65,536 IP address for $12 each to a company in 2012. Prices vary, but the general range is typically about $14 to $20 per address, depending on a variety of factors including the bulk of a sale and, of course, how willing a company is to sell or lease.
In addition to companies that are going out of business, there are numerous other sources from which IPv4 addresses can be obtained, including educational institutions, governments, and even brokers who have realized the profit potential of buying and selling them.
Finding a Trusted Partner
Having enough IPv4 addresses and starting your transition to IPv6 is critical to the success of your business. Being proactive will allow you to have the network organization and capacity for your company to grow. Nonetheless, since IPv4 addresses are quickly becoming a commodity market, finding the right partner to ensure you get a fair price can be a challenge.
Since in the long term, everyone will move over to IPv6, the most affordable solution is to lease IPv4 addresses instead of buying them. Buying IPv4 can be a very long process and unfortunately, you don’t always know what you’re buying, reputation is a big factor in using your IPv4 space. Trust Root Level Technology to supply you with the clean space and help you determine the right number of IP addresses that your company will need, but also help you get the best price for leasing them. The digital landscape is a rapidly changing place, but with our help, you can be certain of your company’s stability and success no matter what changes occur over the next five, ten or even twenty years!
To learn more about leasing IPv4s, click here.