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How to get IPv4 from Regional Internet Registries (RIR)?

  • Posted at 2022-02-28 12:25:52
  • By Prefixx Team

How to get IPv4 from Regional Internet Registries (RIR)?

If you want to trace someone’s IP address, you must first learn how the protocols work. Each connected computer with access to the Internet has a unique address to identify that specific computer, called an IP address. It doesn’t matter where the computer is or who is using it. 

However, the question begs. How does a computer get an IP address? More importantly, is it possible for computers to get IP addresses as the situation demands?

You must know that the answer to these questions is ‘no.’ Then, how do computers get their IP addresses? To understand how IP addresses work, you must first know what Regional Internet Registries (RIR) are, how they work, and why they exist?

What are Regional Internet Registries (RIR)?

A Regional Internet Registry or RIR is an organization that controls the IP addresses of the different computers in a specific region. The regions that RIRs cover are usually countries, or at times, whole continents. So, assigning IP addresses to the different computers is under the control of the Regional Internet Registry. However, why is it that only the Regional Internet Registries must assign IP addresses?

When the Internet began, it wasn’t as widespread as today, and not many countries had access to it. However, as it expanded, there was a need for organizations to step in and regulate the demand for IP addresses. So, the different Regional Internet Registries were born.

Types of Regional Internet Registries

Today, the Internet has grown so tremendously that you have millions of users worldwide, and five Regional Internet Registries cater to these users.

1. The American Registry for Internet Numbers
The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) oversees assigning IP addresses in the North American Continent, including the US, Canada, and parts of the Caribbean.

2. RIPE NCC
RIPE NCC controls the assigning of IP addresses across Europe and the Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries. RIPE NCC is officially considered the first Regional Internet Registry.

3. Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC)
The APNIC assigns IP addresses to computers in the Asia Pacific Region. It was founded in Tokyo, Japan. APNIC was only the second such Regional Internet Registry to be established following the RIPE NCC.

4. Latin America and Caribbean Internet Address Registry (LACNIC)
Headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay, LACNIC caters to the Latin American and Caribbean regions.

5. The African Network Information Center (AFRINIC)
As the name suggests, AfriNIC assigns Internet addresses to the African region and is headquartered in Ebene City, Mauritius.

How does the allocation work?

The IANA is responsible for allocating one /8 addresses to every new block registered under the RIR. However, the allocation isn’t endless, and each unique IP address assigned is valid only for 18 months.

Once the IANA allocates the IP addresses to the Regional Internet Registries, they can allocate the same to the end-users.

Also, the RIRs, when assigning the IP addresses, must ensure that they allocate the AS numbers equally and impartially. Besides this, the RIRs must also make sure that one of the parties controls assigning every IP address or ASN to utilize the resources fully. So, without RIRs, assigning IP addresses to different computers can be chaotic.

Similarly, another function of the RIRs is that they must ensure the global network functions smoothly, without any hassles, even if they operate in different geographical regions. The organization must prevent a region from eating up all the resources.

Final thoughts

In general, the IANA does not allocate IP addresses to the end-users, although there may be certain exceptions. However, when it comes to the RIRs, they are indeed responsible for distributing IP addresses to the end-users and the Internet Service Providers (ISP. Such allocation involves assigning the addresses to local Internet registries and the regional Internet registries, in turn, giving them to the end-users.

The allocation of such resources is rather complicated. Its success depends on how strict and complex the policies and membership guidelines are and whether all the organizations involved are willing to collaborate and cooperate. So, from the IANA to the RIRs, the RIRs to the LIRs, and LIRs to the end-user, everyone must unite to assign IPv4 addresses smoothly.

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