Why IPv6 Is a Win for Digital Advertising

Why IPv6 Is a Win for Digital Advertising

“For everyday users, yesterday’s big shift in Internet addresses — from the IPv4 to IPv6 — will go unnoticed. To anyone doing business on the Web, though, it’s of extreme interest, and there’s one group who may benefit from the re-organization more than others: advertising networks.

First, a little background: Since its inception, the Internet has been based on an system called IPv4. This is how IP addresses get distributed — those numbers in your device’s network preferences that usually look like “192.168.1.1″ — and determine how machines talk to each other.

However, IPv4 only allows for about 4 billion total addresses, and the supply has been completely used up. That’s why the Internet today finally officially opened the doors on IPv6, a newer standard that provides more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses — so many that we’ll (probably) never run out. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and major sites (like Google) have already begun to switch.

Beyond the mere benefit of keeping with the times, Google may have another good reason to support the change to IPv6: It has direct benefits to digital advertising, says Bob Hinden, chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and one of the architects of IPv6 along with Steve Deering.

Here’s why: The 4 billion or so addresses in IPv4 aren’t nearly enough for even the number of connected devices in the world today. But they don’t have to serve every single one, since network address translators (NATs) can distribute “private” addresses to devices on a local network. It’s analogous to an apartment building — each unit has the same street address, but their numbers are different.”

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