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What is DHCP?

Leonid Veselov
Leonid Veselov
September 6, 2011
What is DHCP?

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What is DHCP?

When studying Internet terminology, you may encounter the acronym DHCP. Consider what it is and what functions DHCP performs in the work of the Internet. This abbreviation stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). DHCP is a network protocol through which a computer receives information about IP addresses and other data automatically.

The standard of this protocol was adopted in 1993. The current version is March 1997, which is described in REC 2131. The new version used in IPv6 is called DHCPy6 — it was created in July 2003 and identified in REC 3315.

How does DHCP work?

The work of DHCP is based on the client-server scheme. Here, the network load or tasks are distributed between suppliers — servers — and customers — customers. Server and client are software, they communicate with each other through a computer network using UDP protocols.

IP addresses are distributed in three ways:

  • Manual. An administrator maps a specific IP address to the hardware address of an individual client computer.Address information is stored on a central server, so it can be easily changed if necessary.
  • Auto. IP addresses are arbitrarily distributed between computers.
  • Dynamic. Acts the same as automatic, but the address is given for a specific period of use. After the deadline, the address becomes free again, the client needs to request a new one.

DHCP options

In addition to the IP address, DHCP may provide other additional parameters needed for operation — DHCP options. These include, for example, the subnet mask, the router’s IP address, the DNS server address, and the domain name.

DHCP implementation

Microsoft first launched a DHCP server on Windows NT 3.5 in 1994. With Windows 2000 Server on this server, you can update DNS records dynamically.

On December 6, 1997, Internet Systems Consortium released the ISC DHCP Server. In June 1999 version 2. 0 was released, approximated to the standard.

At the moment there are different implementations of this server for Windows as separate programs that perform the functions of DHCP.


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