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https://www.udemy.com/course/learn-computer-networking/?tc=blog.enabledhcp&couponCode=half-off-for-blogTo ensure your computer can work effectively over the Internet, you need an IP address. This is the unique identifier for every computer connected to the Internet. As soon as you plug your computer into the network, a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration  Protocol) server will allocate an IP address for it. This way if you move your computer between different networks it’s not necessary to reconfigure your network parameters each time. Today we walk through a beginner’s tutorial on how to enable a DHCP server. We assume that you have working knowledge of TCP/IP and other networking protocols. If not we suggest that you brush up your concepts through our basic course on computer networks.

What is DHCP and How Does It Work

DHCP or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol eliminates the requirement to manually, configure IP addresses of the devices in a network. In order for your DHCP to work, it is necessary that your computer should have a DHCP client installed and enabled. Your system has to be connected to a network that is set up to provide configuration data via DHCP.

Many devices use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. Almost everything with Wi-Fi capabilities will have a DHCP system. The examples include hand held devices such as cameras, video game consoles and other modern electronic gadgets.

When a device tries to leverage the DHCP links to a network, it transmits a broadcast to request data to the local dynamic host protocol server. The server accepts the broadcasts. Then it sends out the data which the device requires to operate on the network. The main piece of information sent is the IP address the device will use. It will be the same as long as the connection is in place and the network retains its current state. Also data will be received regarding the other IP addresses on the network and will mask any gateway addresses.

Cautions While Using DHCP

Most Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol do not demand authentication and send out none with their information. You can impersonate an authorized DHCP server and send out incorrect information. Also a computer can play the role of a DHCP client and repeatedly demand address information. The latter can be done until the DHCP server is exhausted of addresses. As a result, other connections to the network will fail.

Let’s take a look at how to enable DHCP on your computer.

How to Enable DHCP on Your Computer

Always check whether your broadband router supports DHCP. Most of the new routers support this protocol. But do not assume the same. Some routers have a control panel where the user has to enable DHCP. Popular routers like Dell, Asus use the IP address for configuration. In the event that it does not work, try changing the C class IP.  Here’s step by step instructions to enable DHCP on your personal computer.

Make it a point to note down your network adapters IP address or DNS server address. These will be listed in the Internet Protocol Properties window. You may need the addresses later to connect to your previous network. To better understand how TCP and IP work, can check out our TCP/IP beginners course.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in networking, you will need to understand DHCP . This course will help you prepare better to land a job as a Linux Network sysadmin.

Page Last Updated: March 2014

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