Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network protocol
for automatically assigning TCP/IP information to client machines.
Each DHCP client connects to the centrally-located DHCP server
which returns that client's network configuration, including the IP
address, gateway, and DNS servers.
DHCP is useful for automatic configuration of client network
interfaces. When configuring the client system, the administrator
can choose DHCP and instead of entering an IP address, netmask,
gateway, or DNS servers. The client retrieves this information from
the DHCP server. DHCP is also useful if an administrator wants to
change the IP addresses of a large number of systems. Instead of
reconfiguring all the systems, he can just edit one DHCP
configuration file on the server for the new set of IP addresses.
If the DNS servers for an organization changes, the changes are
made on the DHCP server, not on the DHCP clients. Once the network
is restarted on the clients (or the clients are rebooted), the
changes take effect.
Furthermore, if a laptop or any type of mobile computer is
configured for DHCP, it can be moved from office to office without
being reconfigured as long as each office has a DHCP server that
allows it to connect to the network.