DHCP is a standardised protocol that enables clients to be dynamically assigned with various configuration parameters, such as an IP address, sub-network mask, default gateway, and other critical network configuration information.
DHCP servers centrally manage such configuration data, and are configured by network administrators with settings that are appropriate for a given network environment. DHCP servers in turn communicate with DHCP clients through the use of DHCP messages.
DHCP supports three methods of IP address allocation:
- Dynamic DHCP allocation
- Static allocation
- Dynamic BOOTP allocation
A network can use one or more of these methods. The network administrator can select which of the methods to use.