The Internet developers wanted to make a networking protocol that had serious longev-
ity, so they had to define a large enough IP address space to last well beyond the fore-
seeable future. They had to determine how many computers might exist in the future,
then make the IP address space even bigger. But how many computers would exist in
the future? Keep in mind that TCP/IP development took place back in the early 1970s.
There were less than 1000 computers in the entire world at the time, but that didn’t
keep the IP framers from thinking big! They decided to go absolutely crazy (as many
people considered at the time) and around 1979 created the Internet Protocol version 4
(IPv4) 32-bit IP address space, creating up to about 4 billion IP addresses. That should
hold us for the foreseeable future!