gpg is the OpenPGP part of the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG). It is a tool to provide digital encryption and signing services using the OpenPGP standard. gpg features complete key management and all the bells and whistles you would expect from a full OpenPGP implementation.
There are two main versions of GnuPG: GnuPG 1.x and GnuPG 2.x. GnuPG 2.x supports modern encryption algorithms and thus should be preferred over GnuPG 1.x. You only need to use GnuPG 1.x if your platform doesn't support GnuPG 2.x, or you need support for some features that GnuPG 2.x has deprecated, e.g., decrypting data created with PGP-2 keys.
If you are looking for version 1 of GnuPG, you may find that version installed under the name gpg1.
See Option Index, for an index to gpg's commands and options.