In our latest ‘What is?’ article, we’re going to explore exactly what DHCP is and what a major role it plays in how our devices connect to wireless and wired networks.

In our last What is? article we covered what DNS is and how that affects how the internet is routed behind the scenes.

What is DHCP?

DHCP or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is one of the main protocols of networking, it allows a server on the network to assign new IP addresses to clients joining the network within a certain range, which allows the devices to communicate on that network as well as the internet.

But what does this mean? Typically in the average home network the router is the brains behind the network and this handles the DHCP by default, once a new device connects to the network it will get an IP address automatically.

However, DHCP is everywhere – some ISPs use DHCP to allow your router to get online, it is present in public hotspots, coffee shops and more.