Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the fourth version in the development of the Internet Protocol (IP) and the first version of the protocol to be widely deployed. Together with IPv6, it is at the core of standards-based internetworking methods of the Internet. IPv4 is still used to route most traffic across the Internet. IPv4 is described in IETF publication RFC 791 (September 1981), replacing an earlier definition.
IPv4 is a connectionless protocol for use on packet-switched networks. It operates on a best effort delivery model, in that it does not guarantee delivery, nor does it assure proper sequencing or avoidance of duplicate delivery. These aspects, including data integrity, are addressed by an upper layer transport protocol, such as the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).