In order to communicate with either the rest of your organization’s network, or with the Internet, every computer on the network has to have an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Some of these computers–such as your servers, which have to have the same address all of the time–need to have a static address assigned manually. But, imagine how tedious it would be to have to manually assign a static IP address to every desktop computer in your organization’s network. For this, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) was invented. There are two protocols that can be used to secure a network configuration, DHCP and BOOTP. DHCP is the one to use if you are getting your information from the same network. BOOTP is the protocol to use if you are getting your network configuration from a DHCP server on another network.
In addition, DHCP can also automatically supply other configuration information to client computers, such as:
Domain Name Service (DNS) server address
Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) server address
Default Gateway address
Timer Server address
Print Server address
There’s another huge advantage to having a DHCP server. If any of the above configuration information were to change on your network, you would only have to change the information at the DHCP server, instead of having to run to every client on the network to change it there.