DHCP Engineer

The answer to “What is DHCP?” is that it’s the standard mechanism to dynamically assign IP addresses within a network. It stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.

IP, or Internet Protocol, addressing is a logical means of assigning addresses to devices on a network. Each device connected to a network requires a unique IP address.

At home, dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) assigns IP addresses to your smartphones, laptops, tablets, and devices like doorbell cameras. When you use wifi on your home network, typically your router is a DHCP server.

In a large enterprise setting, a DHCP server is usually a dedicated computer. By simplifying IP address management, it saves money, is more secure, and doesn’t eat up valuable admin time.

In this glossary entry, we’ll explore the fundamentals of how DHCP works. Then, we’ll take a deeper look at two aspects: dynamic addressing and the communications protocol.

How does DHCP work?
DHCP is a network management protocol. A client device (or DHCP client), such as a laptop, joins a network and requests an IP address. The request is made to a DHCP server.

These servers are often configured with redundancy or clustering among other network servers. Servers can run on both IPv4 and IPv6 networks.
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