Definition: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is used to automate the assignment of IP addresses to Hosts on a network. Each machine on the network must have a unique address. Rather than manually having to enter the IP address, track which ones are in use and remember to put addresses back in the pool when devices are removed, DHCP handles all of this automatically. Each device that is configured to use DHCP will contact the DHCP server when it starts up to request an IP address. The DHCP server will assign an IP address from the range its been configured to use. The IP address has a lease duration. When the device is removed from the network, or when the lease expires, the IP address is placed back in the pool to be used by another device.
Also Known As: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol