Since the smart grid deals with a large mass of data and critical missions, it requires ubiquitous, reliable, and real-time communication. The Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which has the potential of connecting all objects over the globe through the Internet, excels in providing robust information transmission infrastructure in the smart grid. There are a multitude of possible protocols, standards, and configurations for communication in the smart grid. A commonly applied communication standard IEC 61850 recommends the use of Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS) protocol for communication in Local Area Network (LAN) and eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) in Wide Area Network (WAN). However, a plethora of research on this topic compares the behavior of other IoT protocols and standard recommendations in the smart grid. On the other hand, the sky-rocketing penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), especially in the form of micro grid, transformed the central control structure of the smart grid into a distributed style called Multi-Agent Systems (MAS). This new approach defined new communication requirements and more particular IoT protocol characteristic requirements. However, a limited number of the existing studies have considered IoT protocol characteristic requirements of the smart grid and its new control structures. In this paper, we initially investigate the communication requirements of the smart grid and introduce all IoT protocols and their specifications. We analyze IoT protocol characteristics and performances in the smart grid through literature review based on the smart grid communication requirements. In this approach, we highlight weak points of these practices making them fail to acquire the holistic guidelines in utilizing proper IoT protocol that can meet the smart grid environment interaction requirements. Using the existing facilities, the public Internet, we follow the arrangement of cost-effective high penetration communication requirements for new structures of the smart grid, i.e., the MAS and multi-micro grid. In this case, we consider IoT protocol Quality of Services (QoS) requirements, especially in the case of security and reliability, to satisfy stakeholders, namely utilities and prosumers. Addressing effective elements in applying IoT in the smart grid’s future trends is another contribution to this paper.