If you’ve experienced problems with your internet connection recently, chances are you’re not alone.
Recent reports suggest the system that routers use to share the map of the internet with one another has grown too large for some older routers to handle — which could result in poor connectivity.
The problem is, older routers can only process a certain number of routes contained in this internet map. Routers share this map through what is referred to as Border Gateway Protocol routing tables, but when these routing tables grow too large for a router’s memory, that router can no longer properly handle internet traffic, as ZDNet explains.
These older routers can only handle routing tables with 512,000 routes, and, as Internet traffic management firm Dyn notes on its blog, the number of global routes has recently reached that threshold. In other words, it seems as if the number of routes within the map of the Internet has grown too large for older routers to comprehend.
So what does this mean? Some Internet-based services may experience disruptions. According to ZDNet, the North American Network Operators Group on Tuesday said providers like AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, and Verizon have experienced serious performance issues, which are expected to continue throughout the next few weeks.
Sources from various internet service providers also confirmed to ZDNet that this routing issue was indeed the cause of their recent service problems.
Dyn’s Jim Finkle, however, says the situation “is more of an annoyance than a real internet-wide threat.” We’re likely to experience sporadic outages over the next few weeks while companies replace their hardware, but the internet isn’t coming to a crashing halt.