The missing piece: Where did IPv5 go?


No one ever though that we’d run out of IP’s in the era of IPv4 but as the Internet grew beyond bounds, introduction of IPv6 became a necessity. We now believe that with IPv6, we’ll never be able to exhaust the stock but only time holds the answer to this.Internet Protocol is a set of technical rules that defines how computers communicate over a network. There are currently two versions: IP version 4 (IPv4) and IP version 6 (IPv6).

Address size32 bit number128 bit number
Number of addresses2^322^128

The technical functioning of the Internet remains the same with both versions and it is likely that both versions will continue to operate simultaneously on networks. Foreseeing the shortage, June 8, 2011 was celebrated as the IPv6 day. Top websites and Internet service providers around the world, including Google, Facebook and Yahoo! joined together with more than 1000 other participating websites in World IPv6 Day for a successful global-scale trial of the new Internet Protocol.

But amidst this furor, where did IPv5 go? There is a story behind the leap from IP4 to IP6. Way back in 1979, a group of engineers created the Internet Stream Protocol (ST).

It was created to transmit video, audio, and simulations over the Internet. IPv5 gained some popularity at places like IBM,

Apple, and Sun but never really saw the light of day. Be that as it may, the protocol was given the designation IPv5 and hence the leap from IPv4 to IPv6.

Jubin Mehta |


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