What is Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol:

DHCP is the Short for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. Its purpose is to assign dynamic IP addresses to devices on a network. DHCP is not a routable protocol, nor is it a secure one.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol

Dynamic addressing means that a device can have a different IP address every time it connects to the network. In Short,  DHCP allows a computer to join a network without having a pre-configured IP network. It assigns unique IPs to Computer Devices and then releases and renews them every time the machine leaves and reconnects to the networks.


DHCP features include allowing the user to define “pools” of IP addresses. The IP addresses are handed out by the server together with the server together with the related configuration settings like subnet mask.

DHCP also makes it easier for a client to move the computer from one subnet to another, because it allocates IPs according to the subnet the request came from.

Due to the dynamic allocation of the IPs, it is easy to recover the addresses that are no longer used and put them back in the un-llocated scope.

DHCP Server Duties:

  • If the node rejoins or is relocated in the network, the server identifies the node using its MAC address. This helps to prevent the accidental configuration of same IP address to two different nodes.
  • For DHCP to operate, the clients need to be configured with it. When a DHCP-aware client connects to the network, the client broadcasts a request to the DHCP server for the network settings.
  • The server responds to the client’s request by providing the necessary IP configuration information.
  • The DHCP server is ideally suited in scenarios where there is a regular inclusion and exclusion of network nodes like wireless hotspots. In these cases, the DHCP server also assigns a lease time to each client, after which the assigned IP address in invalid.
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