Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab
Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab

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Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab

6.3 DHCP

In this part you will see how a home gateway functions as a DHCP server to provide configuration for other devices on a home network.

Now watch the video below, which is about 1 minute long.


Download this video clip.Video player: 36_dhcp.mp4
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I started by setting up my desktop IP addresses manually as a static address. But you don’t want to do that all the time – it would be a pain, particularly for mobile devices.

So instead I can set up DHCP on the gateway to allow IP addresses to be assigned automatically.

I need to enable DHCP (it probably would be set up by default), but I can choose a start address and number of users. These look fine: scroll down and click ‘Save’.

I’ll check that works. Back at my desktop, I can switch from static to DHCP – and there is the configuration appearing automatically, an IP address from the range we specified, but also other useful things: the subnet mask and the address of the gateway itself.

So the gateway is now acting as a DHCP server. And new devices can now join the network without needing any manual configuration.

End transcript
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An important role for a home gateway is to be a DHCP server for the home network, handing out IP addresses and other configuration information to devices that join the network.

Activity 3 Try it out

15 minutes

  1. Open PT Anywhere [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in a new tab or window so you can read these instructions.

    In this scenario, there is a home gateway router and one PC already connected.

  2. From the PC, click Edit device, then open the DHCP Server (remote) tab. This gives you access remotely to the home gateway’s configuration.

  3. From the PC, check that the DHCP server on the gateway is turned on.

  4. Check that the number and range of addresses is appropriate.

  5. Add the laptop to the network by connecting it to the home gateway.

  6. What IP address is it assigned?

  7. What other configuration does it receive?


PT Anywhere provides remote access from a PC to the home gateway’s configuration. This would normally be done by using a web browser on the PC to connect to web pages hosted on the gateway. The DHCP server on the gateway can be configured to use a particular range of IP addresses.

You can explore further by connecting other devices.


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