Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Defined
A Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network management protocol that provides fast, automatic, and central management for the distribution of IP addresses.
A DHCP server enables computers to request IP addresses and networking parameters automatically from the Internet service provider (ISP), which in turn, reduces the need for a network administrator to manually assign IP addresses.
In most homes and small businesses, the router acts as the DHCP server, while in larger networks, a single computer might act as the DHCP server.
Benefits of having a DHCP include:
- Reliable IP address configuration as a DHCP minimizes configuration errors caused by manual IP address configuration.
- Reduced network administration as a DHCP has the following features:
- Centralized and automated TCP/IP configuration.
- The ability to define TCP/IP configurations from a central location.
- The ability to assign a full range of additional TCP/IP configuration values by means of DHCP options.
- The efficient handling of IP address changes for clients.
- The forwarding of initial DHCP messages by using a DHCP relay agent.
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