The rapid advancement of technology allows more devices and other appliances to be connected to the internet. In 2020, the number of Internet of Things connected devices worldwide reached 8.74 billion devices.
This number is expected to keep increasing significantly within the next ten years. With this growth pace and many devices being online, you might wonder, will the internet be able to keep accommodating all of our devices in the future?
This article will try to answer this question by looking at how the internet works, the definition of web hosting, and its potential significance to you during this rapid growth.
How the Internet Works
In a simple network, computers are connected using physical cables or wireless connections with a router managing the data traffic between them.
However, if we want to connect hundreds or thousands of computers, we have to connect multiple networks. This can be done by connecting your network into the larger telephone infrastructure managed by internet service providers (ISP).
The internet consists of multiple ISPs that form a massive network connecting computers and other devices worldwide.
Finding a Device on The Internet
To send and receive data on the internet, each device within the network must have a unique identifier called an IP address. This address consists of a series of numbers separated by dots, for example, 192.168.10.02. There are two types of IP addresses, including IPv4 and IPv6.
Even though devices within the network identify each other using IP addresses, it might be hard for users to memorize these numbers. Therefore, a system called domain names was invented to help users identify network addresses easily.
The domain name is a system that converts IP addresses into human-readable characters that usually make up a word, such as google.com or www.newgenapps.com. Entering these domain names into a web browser’s search bar will allow users to access websites hosted on various servers worldwide.
If you plan on building a website, make sure to conduct a domain name search using various tools available online.
Is the Internet Still Growing?
IPv4 uses the 32-bits system, which means it contains 4,294,967,296 possible IP addresses. In 2019, the Ripe Network Coordination Centre announced that it might soon run out of this IPv4 addresses pool.
This is caused by the rapid growth of internet users worldwide, where more devices such as smartphones, televisions, and game consoles are being connected to the internet. Therefore, some of us might worry that soon the internet won’t be able to accommodate new devices.
However, IPv4 exhaustion was anticipated a long time ago by the invention of IPv6. Since it is based on the 128-bits system, IPv6 can give us around 340 undecillion potential addresses. With this many available addresses, the IPv6 will never be depleted.
There are several significant advantages of using IPv6 aside from more address availability, including:
- Simpler header format. IPv6 dropped much of the IPv4 header information allowing faster IP header processing by the receiving host.
- Easier to manage. With more autoconfiguration capabilities, this IP format is simpler and easier to manage, especially for more extensive networks.
- Improved security. IPv6 has built-in authentication and privacy support, which is usable with suitable key infrastructure.
- More mobility capabilities. Unlike the IPv4 that has a lot of mobility restrictions, the new IP format comes with more interoperability and mobility capabilities.
- Encourages innovation. With its considerable potential and flexibility, IPv6 allows more innovation to further improve the network addressing system.
Even though many devices already use version six addresses, completely replacing the older IP system might take a long time.
However, with our technological advancement, we don’t have to worry about IP address exhaustion. Rest assured, the internet is more likely to support many more new devices and websites in the future.
What is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is a service that stores all the required files and information to make your website or web application accessible to internet users. Important files such as HTML, CSS, and images are hosted on a server connected to a domain name.
When a user knows and types your domain name into their web browser, the server will respond by showing them your website content. To use a web hosting service, you need to find a suitable hosting provider that suits your needs and preferences.
There are several common types of web hosting services offered by hosting providers, including:
- Shared hosting. Users share one server with other customers. All server resources such as CPU, RAM, and storage are also shared. This is a good choice for beginners and small businesses.
- Dedicated hosting. Users get one server that only hosts their website or web application. This allows them to utilize server resources without having to share them with other clients. With much greater performance and capabilities, this type of hosting is suitable for a website with more traffic.
- VPS (virtual private server) hosting. Users share one physical server with other clients. However, with virtualization technology, the server is divided into several partitions that allow users to have dedicated server resources for themselves.
- Cloud hosting. Users have their files and resources replicated and stored in multiple cloud servers. Each cloud server acts as the backup for the other servers, which potentially improves the website’s availability.
Why You Should Use Web Hosting
After knowing what web hosting is, you might want to know why you should use it for your website. This part of the article will discuss three benefits of using web hosting for your website or web application.
It’s Relatively Easy
Setting up your web hosting is relatively simple and easy to do. Some hosting providers may offer a one-click installer to help your set up seamlessly. All you need to do is input some standard information, and your hosting will be ready to use in a couple of minutes.
Most hosting providers also offer customer support and knowledge centers to help you go through the process step-by-step. Helpful blog posts and discussion forums are also widely available online, and they can help you learn more about web hosting services.
More Control Over Your Content
By posting your content on your self-hosted website, you have more control over it. Third-party websites typically have their own terms of service and algorithms, which may restrict your freedom and creativity.
Some websites can also get the rights to your content if you post it on their platform, which is something that you might want to avoid. If content marketing is your primary way of gaining revenue, we suggest you have your own website.
More Monetization Options
By using web hosting, you have more options to monetize your website. Many monetization methods such as selling products, subscription services, and displaying ads on your website can be done once you host your website in a web hosting service.
It is also possible to customize your website with various features and plugins to further improve its functionality. This can help you to gain more credibility and trust from your clients.
As more devices can directly connect to the internet, we expected to face IP address exhaustion issues.
However, this issue has been prevented by a new IP address version and advanced addressing technology, allowing us to include many more devices and websites on the internet.
Besides talking about IP address exhaustion, we also learned about web hosting and why we should use it. Three benefits of using web hosting for your website include:
- Easy to do.
- More control over your content.
- More monetization options.
With this rapid and continuous development, we can expect more aspects of our lives to be connected to the internet. Hopefully, this article helped you to understand more about the internet’s growth and the importance of web hosting.