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DHCPDynamic Host Configuration Protocol. This is an upgrade of an old standard, BOOTP, that has survived the introduction of windows and other tasks not originally envisioned for it. The principal is that a device that knows nothing about its own network settings sends out a broadcast packet saying, in effect, tell me what to do. The DHCP server is listening for these packets, and responds with a packet containing the settings that device should have. A DHCP server is configured with a table of ethernet addresses, and ranges of IP addresses, and maps that describe who gets what and when. Because a constantly changing IP address can be destabilizing, the DHCP server uses the concept of a lease, to tell the device it has this IP address for only a limited time. When the lease runs out, the device tries to obtain a renewal and, possibly, gets a new IP address given to it! If the device is allocated a new IP address, it must reconfigure itself to take that feedback needed:please tell us whether windows machines can handle this or reboot themselves.
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