The current version of the protocol that we are using is IPv4. IP stands for “Internet Protocol”, and it is the 4th revision of the language.
Every device connected to the internet has an address so it can be found by other systems. It is called an IP Address.
A sample address is 126.96.36.199
If you type this address into your web browser you will end up at iCorning.com.
One of Google’s several addresses is 188.8.131.52
Same thing, if you type this in, you end up at Google.
A system exists called DNS that converts these numbered addresses to the more human readable addresses that we are used to using.
When IPv4 was created it allowed for about 4.3 billion addresses. Which seemed a lot at the time, but this was a long time ago, before there were smart phones and internet connected devices, and before many third world countries were starting to hook systems up to the web.
Now, new IPv4 addresses are all but depleted.
IPv6 was created to fix this issue, and to address some of the security issues in IPv4. There are 2^128 IPv6 Addresses, that is, oh roughly:
They look something like this:
The problem is that the US is switching to IPv6 very slowly. I believe that we are behind China and Japan in the switchover. And many US companies have no immediate plans to even make the transition. Google currently has a single Linux box set up to handle the IPv6 Google traffic. But eventually we will all be using IPv6.