Why do we use DHCP?

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)  was developed to simplify the networking experience for users and network administrators alike.  In the early days of Ethernet networks, technicians needed to manually enter the IP address and other various parameters into every device that needed access to the network.  Currently, Ball State has over 15,000 active devices on the network; manually configuring that many devices would be impossible!  This is why large organizations, like Ball State, rely on DHCP to make the network experience more enjoyable for everyone.


Common Questions asked about DHCP

1. When does my computer use DHCP?

When a computer is turned on and plugged into a network jack, it requests information from the DHCP servers. Also, if a computer is connected to the BSU wireless network, it requests information from the DHCP servers.

 2. What information does the DHCP server give my computer?

The DHCP server configures the following on a device: IP address, subnet mask, default gateway address, DNS servers, and  a WINS server.

3. Can I keep the same IP address while using DHCP?

When a device needs to maintain a specific IP address on the network, it is possible to reserve an IP address for a device using DHCP. This is typically done for devices that need to be communicated with over the network or internet. Such devices include servers with internal or external DNS names, large multi-function printers that have email relay capability and other such devices. They need to retain that specific IP so that devices that connect to them can do so at all times.