How to Configure Your Home Network's Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server
4 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Network Installation and Setup
In order to configure your home network devices using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), you need to have a DHCP server on your network. It is often easiest to use the DHCP server that is built-in on most routers (either wired or wireless) and Ethernet switches because these devices are almost always left on.
Although the steps for configuring the DHCP server will vary slightly depending on the hardware and software you are using, the following example, using a NETGEAR wireless router, gives you a good idea of what is required.
Access your router or switch using a browser window and log into the device.
This example is based on the NETGEAR WGR614v7 wireless router.
Under Advanced on the left side of the window, click LAN IP Setup.
The LAN IP Setup window appears.
Select the check box next to Use Router as DHCP Server.
Remember that a DHCP server is built-in on most routers.
For the Starting IP Address, enter the first available host address in your IP address range.
For example, if you manually configured your wireless access point with the IP address 192.168.1.1 (as in this example), the first available host address to be dynamically assigned would be 192.168.1.2. The host portion of the address is the number after the last decimal, so would be the next available host address in this example.
Enter an Ending IP Address within the same network range.
You should allocate enough IP addresses to cover all the devices (for example, PCs and printers) on your network and a few extra for growth. For the most part, each device will require only one IP address. If you run out of IP addresses within your defined range, an IP address won’t be available to assign to another device on your network, and it won’t be able to connect to your network.
This will save your settings.
DHCP is a first come, first serve protocol, so if your neighbor grabs the last available IP address on your network, you won’t be able to connect to your own home network!