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Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a protocol that provides a means to dynamically allocate an IP address to computers on a local area network. The system administrator assigns a range of IP addresses to DHCP and each client computer on the LAN has its TCP/IP software configured to request automatically an IP address from the DHCP server when it starts up. The request and grant process uses a lease concept with a controllable time period. This eases the network installation procedure on the client computer side considerably.

DHCP was introduced as a Standard protocol in October 1993. DHCP latest (March 1997) definition is in RFC2131.

Microsoft introduced DHCP on their NT server[?] with version 3.5 in late 1994.

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See also: RARP, BOOTP

based on FOLDOC

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