Simply said, a protocol is a set of rules governing how things work in a certain technology, so that there is some kind of standardization. IP protocol standardizes the way packets of information are transmitted over the web. Ever computer is assigned an IP address which is a unique address used to locate and identify a device over a network.
In cases where two machines are given the same IP address, packets won’t know where to go. This is known as IP conflict.
As we near the end of IPv4’s unique set of addresses, computers and servers across the world must be able to identify themselves to keep the flow of information going.
This graphic by our friends at Focus puts it all into perspective for us so we know why averting the IP address catastrophe is so important.
Click to enlarge.