DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is the protocol that automatically assigns IP addresses to each device on a network without interaction from a system administrator or user. A common example is that of Wi-Fi devices dropping on and off a home network. Each time a device returns (or appears for the first time) on the Wi-Fi network, the router uses DHCP to assign a new and open IP address to the device.
DHCP is enormously convenient in comparison to previous protocols wherein each unique device on the network would need to be manually assigned an IP address.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 08/13/13