#TechExchange: Automatic IP Address Allocation Using DHCP

DHCP is an acronym for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, a modern computer technology which allows dynamic or automatic assigning of IP Addresses once a device starts initiating an Internet connection. Remember an IP Address (Internet Protocol) is a unique numerical label assigned to each device to enable Internet connectivity.

By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi 

In the early stages of the Internet revolution, Network Administrators used to manually assign these IP Addresses on every device whether its a desktop, laptop, IP Printer or any other device which needed to access the Internet. This was a very gruesome process considering that one engineer needed to assign IP Addresses on over a hundred devices but the evolution of DHCP has made the task much simpler and saving time in the process.

Remember currently we have two different addressing schemes of Internet Protocol versions namely IPv4 and IPv6 where the latter was introduced to address the addressing space limitations of IPv4 which is limited to only 2.3 billion IP Addresses against the currently anticipated 50 billion devices to be on the Internet by 2020.

So to allow the automatic assigning of IP Addresses on a local network, you need to configure a DHCP Server which holds the addressing pool where devices will be able to quirie the server to dynamically obtain these IP Addresses. The below configuration processes shows how to configure a DHCP Server by creating an automatic IP Addressing Pool on your router.

R1(config)# ip dhcp excluded-address  

This above command will allow you to excluded a certain range of IP Addresses which you might need to reserve for fixed IT Peripherals such as printers, router interfaces ans file servers.

R1(config)# ip dhcp pool LAN-POOL-1

The above command will allow you to create a addressing pool called LAN-POOL-1

R1(dhcp-config)# network 

The above command identifies the network from which you are deriving your IP Addresses

R1(dhcp-config)# default-router 

The above command identities the default gateway of your LAN traffic. If you notice closely is one of those first excluded address from the pool. 

R1(dhcp-config)# dns-server 

The above command identifies the IP Address of a DNS erver from another network that will be responsible for providing all other dns services.

By configuring the above parameters on your router, you have managed to successfully create a DHCP Pool that will automatically assign IP Addresses to every new device cleared to access the Internet though the LAN.

All the Network Administrator need to check the settings to make sure that those device which want to access the Internet can automatically quirie the DHCP Server to obtain dynamic IP Address. You can just go to your network settings on your computer and click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties and then click Obtain An IP Address Automatically as illustrated below:



Your device will automatically obtain an IP Address from the configured DHCP Pool

To check the exact IP Address allocated t your device, you can just hit ipconfig in your Command Prompt and the below results will show you your given IP Address.

The battle for relevance continues…follow Shingie Levison Muringi our Technology Research Specialist and Sub Editor on Twitter @ShingieMuringi1, Email [email protected] or direct Cell: 0775 380 652 for all the latest trending technological issues in and outside Zimbabwe.


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