INFO: What is DHCP

DHCP or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is an automatic configuration protocol used to supply IP addresses on an Internet Protocol (or IP) Network. The IP address is a computer or device address on the network or the Internet. One way of looking at the IP address would be like a phone number. We uses phone numbers to communicate with people, computers use IP addresses to communicate with each other.

The main benefit to DHCP is that it's dynamic. Instead of having to set a specific IP address for multiple items on a network, DHCP provides a subnet (or pool) of addresses and when a computer or device connects to the network, it is given an address from that pool. In this way, it's not necessary to manually configure each device or computer that is connected to your network.

Here's how it works:

1. A computer or device on your network tries to connect to the network or the Internet.

2. The router looks at its pool of addresses and selects one that is available and marks it in use for that computer or device.

3. The router passes the address to the device for use.

4. The device assumes the IP address and uses it for communication with other computers or devices on the network or Internet.

5. The computer or device disconnects from the network.

6. The router releases the IP address from that device and adds it back to the pool of available addresses for any other computer or device that connects.

Most computers and network hardware supports DHCP. Routers are capable of acting as DHCP servers for your home network and make configuring devices on that network fast and easy.