The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) automatically distributes addresses from a defined IPClosed Internet Protocol address pool to client computers. It is designed to simplify network configuration on large networks, and to prevent address conflicts. DHCP distributes IP addresses, default gateway information, and DNSClosed Domain Name Service configuration information to its clients.

In addition to simplifying the configuration of client computers and allowing mobile computers to move painlessly between networks, DHCP helps to localize and troubleshoot IP address-related problems, as these are mostly issues with the configuration of the DHCP server itself. It also allows for a more effective use of address space, especially when not all computers are active at the same time, as addresses can be distributed as needed and reused when unneeded.