The Mystery of IPv5: Why It Never Happened


In the world of networking and internet protocols, you’ve likely heard of IPv4 and IPv6, but what about IPv5? It’s a question that has puzzled many, as IPv5 seems to be missing from the sequence. In this article, we’ll explore the intriguing story behind the absence of IPv5 and what happened to it.

The Origins of IPv5:

To understand the story of IPv5, we need to go back in time to the early days of the internet. IPv4, or Internet Protocol version 4, was the first widely adopted protocol for routing data packets across the internet. It was introduced in the late 1970s and quickly became the backbone of the internet.

The Concept of IPv5:

In the mid-1990s, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) began working on a new protocol, which they initially called “Internet Stream Protocol Version 2” (ST2). This protocol was designed to handle streaming multimedia applications more efficiently than IPv4. It was sometimes informally referred to as IPv5 due to its sequential numbering.

What Happened to IPv5:

While IPv5 was in development, a significant shift occurred in the networking world. The need for a more robust and scalable internet protocol became apparent as the internet continued to grow at an unprecedented rate. IPv4 was running out of available IP addresses due to its limited 32-bit address space.

IPv6 Emerges:

In response to the address exhaustion problem, the IETF shifted its focus to a more comprehensive and long-term solution. This effort led to the development of IPv6, or Internet Protocol version 6. IPv6 introduced a 128-bit address space, providing trillions of unique IP addresses, compared to the limited pool of IPv4 addresses.

The Adoption of IPv6:

IPv6 was officially standardized in 1998, and since then, it has gradually replaced IPv4 as the dominant internet protocol. Many organizations, internet service providers (ISPs), and tech giants have made the switch to IPv6 to future-proof their networks and accommodate the growing number of internet-connected devices.


In the end, IPv5 never became a widely adopted internet protocol due to the emergence of IPv6, which addressed the pressing issues of IPv4 address exhaustion and scalability. While IPv5 was conceived with good intentions, it became a casualty of technological progress. Today, IPv6 stands as the successor to IPv4 and continues to shape the future of the internet, ensuring its continued growth and functionality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *