(Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) The automatic assigning of IP addresses to client machines logging into an IP network. The same address, although technically temporary, may remain with a machine indefinitely unless a conflict arises with other devices on the network.The DHCP software, which resides in the router or a server, eliminates the need to manually assign permanent "static" IP addresses to devices. In a home network, the DHCP function is built into the wireless router. See DHCPv6, IP network, static IP address, IP address, DDNS, APIPA and link-local address.
A method to automate the assignment of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, subnet masks, and other parameters. DHCP allows a router connecting a LAN to the Internet to assign public IP addresses on a temporary basis.When a workstation logs onto the network, the DHCP client requests an IP address, which is provided from a pool of available addresses stored on a server, which may be integrated into the router. That address is assigned to that client for the duration of the session, or for a specific time period, after which the address is returned to the pool for reassignment to another client station. DHCP commonly works in conjunction with Network Address Translation (NAT), which translates between the private IP address the host workstation uses within the LAN domain and the public IP address (and specific TCP or UDP port number) it uses in the public domain. DHCP is specified in RFC 2131. In combination, these protocols relieve pressure on the IPv4 address scheme, which otherwise would be in risk of depletion. See also client, domain, Internet, IP, IP address, IPv4, IPv4 address, NAT, private IP address, protocol, public IP address, router, server, session, subnet mask, TCP, and UDP.