Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network protocol that is used to dynamically assign IP addresses to devices on a network. It eliminates the need for manual configuration of IP addresses, reducing the chances of IP address conflicts and making it easier to manage large networks.
The DHCP process involves three main steps:
DHCP Discovery: A device sends out a broadcast request to the network asking for an IP address.
DHCP Offer: One or more DHCP servers on the network respond to the request with an offer of an IP address and other network configuration information.
DHCP Request and Acknowledgement: The device selects one of the offers and sends a request to the DHCP server to confirm the offer. The DHCP server then acknowledges the request and assigns the IP address to the device.
DHCP helps to simplify IP address management and ensures that IP addresses are assigned efficiently and without duplication. It is widely used in modern networks and is supported by a wide range of network devices including routers, switches, and firewalls.