Posted by: bhalley | 09/24/2010

Understanding DHCP vs. DNS

When it comes to networking, trying to connect your computers to your router can be difficult.  You were probably asked about DNS settings and using DHCP during the setup process.  In today’s post I will explain what these are and how they are used.

DHCP – It stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.  This service sends computers the IP address, Subnet Mask, Gateway, and DNS server information.  In order for a computer to communicate on a network and on the internet it must have this information.  The numbers will be in the form xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx.  In a previous post I talked about the different classes of networks and their IP ranges.  Computers need to be on the same class and subnet mask in order to talk to each other.

DNS – It stands for Domain Naming Service.  This service is what I like to refer to as the Phone Book of the internet.  Whenever you type an address into your web browser it has to look up the IP address associated with the name.  This is where DNS comes in.  It contains the table the links the name to the IP.  If you would like to see what I mean, type in http://www.cisco. com into another browser window.  Close the window and open a new one and type in http://72.163.4.161 and you will you get the same page.  72.163.4.161 is the IP the http://www.cisco.com is associated with.  This is where filtering comes in.  Filtering redirects dangerous IP’s to be redirected to an alternate IP to protect you.

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