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The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol was established to relieve the administrative burden of assigning and maintaining IP address information for internetwork connections. DHCP provides automatic and reliable TCP/IP network configuration, insures that address conflicts do not occur, and supports centralized management of address allocation.

When a client device needs to start up TCP/IP operations, it broadcasts a request for address information. The DHCP server assigns a new address and sends this to the client together with the lease duration, address of the client’s gateway and the subnet mask for the network that the client is on. This information is acknowledged by the client and used to set up its network configuration. It eliminates much of the work required to set up clients manually and reduces the number of user errors caused by unfamiliarity with networking parameters.  The network administrator controls which IP addresses are assigned, the maximum duration of leases, and other configuration parameters available to clients through DHCP.  An IP address is available for reallocation once its lease has expired. A client moving from one subnet to another must request a new IP address on the new subnet; this allows people with portable devices to move between subnets and remain connected to the network without the need for manual configuration.

Network Operations maintains a campus-wide DHCP service. Many departments depend on this service to manage the assignment of IP addresses to computers in labs, classrooms and offices. DHCP is also used to assign IP addresses to devices using the AirYorkPLUS and eduroam wireless services.

Setup instructions for using DHCP:


Mac OS