APIPA - Computer Definition
(Automatic Private IP Addressing) The Windows function that provides DHCP autoconfiguration addressing. APIPA assigns a class B IP address from 169.254.0.0 to 169.254.255.255 to the client when a DHCP server is either permanently or temporarily unavailable. Designed for small non-routable networks, if a DHCP server becomes available later, the APIPA address is replaced with one from the DHCP server. For example, when a Windows Vista machine starts up, it waits only six seconds to find a DHCP server before assigning an IP from the APIPA range. It then continues to look for a DHCP server. Previous versions of Windows looked for a DHCP server for up to three minutes. See DHCP autoconfiguration addressing, DHCP and private IP address.