IPv4 Summary - Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4)

What is the summary for IPv4?

The Internet Protocol version 4 was designed to be allocated for about 4.3 billion addresses. Initially, this was considered as a much wider address space.

Unexpected growth in internet users and its wide spread usage has drastically increased the number of devices which require real and unique IP for communicating. Slowly, an IPS was needed by almost every digital equipment designed make human life easy, like Mobile Phones, Cars and other electronic devices. The number of devices (other than computers/routers) extended the demand for extra IP addresses which were not considered earlier.

IPv4 allocation is globally managed by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) under coordination with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). IANA works closely with Regional Internet Registries which are responsible to efficiently distribute IP addresses in their territories. There are five such RIRS. According to IANA reports, all the IPv4 address blocks have been allocated. Below are the best practices that are done to adjust with the situation:

  • Private IPs: some of the blocks of IPs were declared for private use within a LAN so that the requirement for public IP addresses is reduced.
  • NAT: Network address translation is a mechanism by which multiple PCs/hosts with private IP addresses will be enabled to access using one or few public IP addresses.
  • Unused Public IPs was reclaimed by RIRs.

Internet Protocol v6 (IPv6)

IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) has redesigned IP addresses to reduce the drawbacks of IPv4. New IP address is version 6 which is 128-bit address. Using this, millions of IP addresses can be given to every single inch of the earth.

At present, most of the devices running on Internet are using IPv4 and it is not possible to shift them to IPv6 in the future. Some mechanisms are provided by IPv6, by which IPv4 and IPv6 can co-exist unless the Internet entirely shifts to IPv6:

  • Dual IP Stack
  • Tunneling (6to4 and 4to6)
  • NAT Protocol Translation

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Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) Topics