Nov 04

Explained The DHCP in Simple and Easy Way


DHCP (DYNAMIC HOST CONFIGURATION PROTOCOL) is a network protocol used on IP networks where a DHCP server automatically assigns IP address to each host on the network then it will communicate correctly with other endpoints.

DHCP is an essential method to ensure that devices can join network and configured. DHCP reduces the errors that are made when IP addresses are creating static. In addition to IP address, DHCP also assign the sub net mask, default gateway, Configuration parameters and Domain name server(DNS) address.

The main reason DHCP is needed is to simplify the management of IP addresses on networks. No two hosts can have the same IP address and if we configure them manually will cause to errors. So we need to automate the process.

DHCP components

While working with DHCP, it is important to understand all the components.

  • DHCP Server – It holds IP address and related configuration information. This is most typically a server, but it acts as a Host
  • DHCP Client – It Automatically requests an IP Address when the hosts connect to a network
  • Sub net – It helps to keep network manageable. IP Networks can be partitioned in to segments
  • IP Address – The range of addresses are available to DHCP Clients. IP addresses are sequentially from lowest to highest
  • DHCP relay – A host that listen for client message on that network and then forward them to a config server. The server then sends responses back to the relay agent. So, this can be used to Centralize server
  • Lease – Client holds the IP address information, when lease expires then client must Renew

Benefits of DHCP server

  • Accurate IP Configuration – IP address config parameters must be exact when dealing with inputs. Typo errors are very hard to troubleshoot and the use of a DHCP server minimizes that risk.
  • Reduced IP address conflicts – Every connected device have an IP address; each address can only be used once, and duplicate address will result a conflict where some of the devices are not connected. Use of DHCP ensures that each address is only used once.
  • Automation of IP address administration – Without DHCP, we need to assign and revoke address manually. DHCP allows this to be automated and centralized so professionals can manage all locations from a single location.
  • Efficient Change Management – DHCP makes it simple to change address and scopes.

Security Risks

DHCP protocol doesn’t require authentication so any client can join a network quickly. So, there are number of security risks, including unauthorized servers handing out bad information to clients, unauthorized clients being given IP address. This can cause denial-of-service attacks or man-in-the-middle attacks where a fake server intercepts data that can be used for malicious purposes.

The DHCP specification does addresses some of these issues. Relay Agent Information Option that enables engineers to tag DHCP messages as they arrive on the network. This tag can be used to control access to the network. Leading network vendors support NAC, and it has become significantly simpler to deploy.

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