What is DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)?
DHCP, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, is a communications protocol that
dynamically assigns unique IP addresses
to network devices. As a network device joins or leaves an IP-based network,
DHCP automatically renews or releases an IP address.
DHCP runs in a client/server mode, where server sets up a pool of available
IP addresses for a network. A DHCP server
also provides network gateway, subnet masks,
name server addresses and amount of time ("lease") that a given
IP address will be valid. A DHCP client
retrieve those parameters and use them to
join the existing network.
DHCP allows network administrators centrally manage and automate the assignment
of the IP addresses without having to worry about assigning duplicate addresses,
making network administration a lot easier to manage.