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The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers who work on developing technical standards for the Internet.
The mission of the IETF is to produce technical and engineering documents that contribute to making the Internet work better. These documents include protocol standards, best current practices, and informational documents of various kinds.
The IETF adopts technical and organisational notes and specification about the Internet in the form of the Requests for Comments (RFC) document series. Some of the most important achievements of the IETF are in the area of Internet protocols. IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) is the most commonly used version of the Internet protocol, which uses a 32-bit format for the IP addresses that are assigned to computers on the Internet. IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the latest version of the Internet protocol, which uses 128-bit addresses, thereby increasing the number of available IP addresses to an extremely large, though still finite number (IPv6 allows approximately 340 trillion trillion trillion of IP addresses, compared to IPv4 pool which has approximately 4.3 billion addresses). As the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is an on-going process, and the two protocols will co-exist for a long time, the IETF has also worked on issuing guidelines for the deployment of and transition to IPV6, and the interoperability of IPv4 systems and services with the transitioned ones. Other examples of issues covered by IETF RFCs include: Internet routing, Domain Name System-related aspects, cryptography, security, and privacy considerations for Internet protocols.