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Dynamic Host Configurations Protocol(DHCP) is a protocol to give a configuration to the host device, with its own IP address, a subnet mask and a default gateway. The process happens in four stages.


Stage 1

The host that wants to join a network finds a DHCP server, it broadcasts a DHCP discovery message over the network. At this point the host has no subnet address or the IP of the DHCP server, so it just broadcasts to all nodes.

Stage 2

The DHCP server will discover the message that the host is broadcasting and send a reply, which would contain a proposed IP address, network mask, lease time and a transaction ID. Then it would take the details and link it to the new client.

Stage 3

The new client responds to the offer which accepts the configuration parameters.

Stage 4

The server responds to the DHCP request message with a DHCP ACK message, and it confirms the requested parameters.