One of the most popular websites in the world, eBay has crashed, which has led experts to believe that the Internet could be running out of space and that the issues that have caused the website to crash could become a regular occurrence in the near future.
Every minute a website like eBay is offline costs money and the more this happens, the more money is lost. The reason why such large websites are crashing could be the fact that parts of the World Wide Web are obsolete or simply put, they are full.
British users of the site were unable to log in for almost the entire day on Tuesday, which resulted in amounts of lost trade. The website’s customer support was flooded with complaints from traders and many of them were asking for some type of compensation.
It appears that the problem didn’t just affect eBay, but also other major websites, such as telegraph.co.uk and LastPass, which is a password manager service. Analysts have weighed in and it appears that the issue behind lies in the very important part of the web, called Border Gateway Protocol (BGP),.
The BGP is in layman terms a route map of the entire web, which allows large networks and internet firms to send information to each other through hundreds of thousands of intricate paths.
When a person surfs a website, they rely on routers to keep account of trusted routs through the expanding world wide web. Older routers have trouble doing this because of the increasing number of people accessing the web thanks to smartphones and tablets. The old routers need to be either updated or changed completely to keep up with the rise in web utilizers.
Experts are saying this is the reason why eBay crashed and why other websites will have the same fate.
A research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, Dr Joss Wright, had this to say about the situation:
It’s really a case of the routers being over-loaded due to more and more devices, and more and more fragmented internet landscape of lots of little networks.
Chief executive of internet traffic monitoring, James Gill, said that:
This definitely won’t be the last we hear of BGP outages. […] The problem is partly to do with computers relying on out-dated IP addresses – the unique code given to each computer, with the old, numbers-only system only gradually being replaced by the alpha-numeric IPv6 system which allows more combinations. In that sense, it would be right to describe the internet as full because they are running out of IP addresses to go round.
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