Troll news videos (with surprisingly high production value) are making the rounds regarding IPv9. Here’s the tl;dr of Internet Protocol.
The first production Internet Protocol was IPv4 (previous versions existed but were not adopted). IPv4 had about 4.3 Billion (2³²) addresses. With the rise in the popularity of the Internet, it quickly became clear that we would run out of IP addresses.
IPv6 fixed this issue by having many more addresses. 2¹²⁸ or 3.40 x 10³⁸ or 340, 282, 366, 920, 938, 463, 463, 374, 607, 431, 768, 211, 456. To put that in perspective, there are trillions of IPv6 addresses for each square millimeter of the Earths surface. Even considering the possibilities of nanobot technology, IPv6 will likely be sufficient, at least with regard to IP addresses allocation for many more years.
IPv9 was initially an April Fools joke published in 1994 by the Internet Engineering Task Force. Then some poorly researched news articles starting surfacing in 2004 about China’s new generation of IPv9 network technology. It was quickly dismissed by more thorough tech journalists. One of the funniest improvements in IPv9 was a further increase in the number of available IP addresses. 2²⁵⁶ or 1.16 x 10⁷⁷ or 115, 792, 089, 237, 316, 195, 423, 570, 985, 008, 687, 907, 853, 269, 984, 665, 640, 564, 039, 457, 584, 007, 913, 129, 639, 936. That’s more ip addresses then there are atoms in our Galaxy. While I commend their forward thinking, it’s a little over the top… for now.
Here is a spreadsheet showing the numbers of IP addresses each protocol has per thing.