All You Need to Know About IPv4

All You Need to Know About IPv4

According to abbreviationfinder, Ipv4 stands forĀ Internet Protocol version 4 which is the fourth version of the Internet Protocol (IP), and the first to be implemented on a large scale. Defined in RFC 791.


The TCP/IP protocol is the protocol used to manage data traffic on the network. This protocol is actually made up of two different protocols that perform different actions.

On the one hand, there is the TCP protocol, which is in charge of data transfer control, and on the other, there is the IP protocol, which is in charge of identifying the machine on the network.

Use of IPv4

IPv4 uses 32 -bit addresses, limiting it to 232 = 4,294,967,296 unique addresses, many of which are dedicated to local area networks (LANs). Due to the enormous growth that the Internet has had (much more than I expected, when IPv4 was designed), combined with the fact that there is a waste of addresses in many cases, it was already several years ago that IPv4 addresses were scarce.

This limitation helped spur the push towards IPv6, which is currently in the early stages of deployment and is expected to eventually replace IPv4.

The addresses available in the IANA global pool belonging to the IPv4 protocol were officially exhausted on Thursday, February 3, 20111 The Regional Internet Registries must, from now on, handle their own pools, which are estimated to last until September 2011

Currently there are no IPv4 addresses available for purchase, therefore there is a forced and priority obligation to migrate to IPv6, operating systems Windows Vista, 7, Unix/like (Gnu/linux, Unix, Mac OSX), BSD among others, they have native support for IPv6, while Windows XP requires using the prompt and typing ipv6 install to install it, and older systems do not have support for it.

Waste of addresses

The waste of IPv4 addresses is due to several factors.

One of the main ones is that initially the enormous growth that the Internet was going to have was not considered; large address blocks (of 16.271 million addresses) were assigned to countries, and even to companies.

Another reason for waste is that in most networks, except the smallest, it is convenient to divide the network into subnets. Within each subnet, the first and last addresses are not usable; however, not all remaining addresses are always used. For example, if you want to accommodate 80 hosts in a subnet, you need a 128-address subnet (round to the next power of 2); in this example, the remaining 48 addresses are no longer used.

Transition to IPv6

Actually we are all involved. From end users to developers of software and operating systems, network and communications hardware, and in general, all kinds of entities.

The Internet is a network that does not have an “executive management” as such, there is no single command, but rather we are all the Network.

In the organization that deals with the standardization of Internet protocols, the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) we have fulfilled the mission, and about 15 years ago we began work to develop the new IPv6 protocol, and since approximately 2002 we can say that the base of the protocol, compared to IPv4, is fully finished and tested. ISOC (Internet Society), to which the IETF administratively depends, has also supported the development and deployment of IPv6.