On February 3, 2011 the last batch of address blocks were allocated to the Regional Internet Registries. Each one of these address blocks counts for around 16.7 million possible addresses or 80 million combined potential addresses in all. The lifespan for these IP addresses to last is about three to six months.
This is a change, as I mentioned before – however web hosts and anybody else who has to deal with the assignment of IP addresses are already working and have plans in place to support the newer IPv6 standard. The main benefit from switching from IPv4 to IPv6 is that there will be more IP addresses available for the world to use. IPv6 can support 340 undecillion addresses, where IPv4 could only support 4,294,967,296 addresses. With the growth of the digital and online age, we simply needed a bigger pool of addresses to work with and IPv6 delivers.
Businesses, organizations, and internet service providers have already started to put in place systems that will be able to handle the new ways of doing business. For some time, we will need to be able to provide support for both IPv6 users and services and the ones that are still using IPv4. This can be solved by providing IPv6 to IPv4 translation or even running dual-stack IPv4 to IPv6 networks.
There will be some bumps in the road as the switchover happens from IPv4 to IPv6 however, there should be no massive problems or issues arise. Chances are that most people, outside of those who have to directly relate with IP addresses will even notice the change.