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Difference Between DNS and DHCP

  • Post last modified:March 14, 2023
  • Reading time:5 mins read
  • Post category:Technology

Brief overview of the DNS and DHCP

DNS and DHCP are two important protocols used in computer networking. DNS is responsible for resolving domain names to IP addresses.

DHCP is responsible for assigning IP addresses to devices on a network.

Together, these protocols play a crucial role in enabling communication on the internet and managing network configurations.

DNS (Domain Name System)

  • DNS is a hierarchical, decentralized system that translates domain names, such as www.example.com, into IP addresses, such as 192.0.2.1.
  • This allows users to access websites and other resources using human-friendly domain names, rather than having to remember IP addresses.
  • DNS is based on a distributed database of DNS records that are stored on DNS servers all over the world.
  • When a user types a domain name into their browser, their computer sends a request to a DNS server to resolve the domain name to an IP address. The DNS server then searches its database for the IP address associated with the domain name and returns it to the user’s computer.
  • DNS is essential for the functioning of the internet and it is used by every device that connects to the internet to resolve domain names to IP addresses.
  • The DNS uses a hierarchical system, the top-level domains (TLD) like .com, .net, .org, .edu, etc are managed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Then it has a series of levels, which include the root DNS servers, top-level domain (TLD) DNS servers, and authoritative DNS servers.
  • DNS also includes a caching mechanism, which stores recent DNS lookups for a certain time in a cache, so that if the same domain name is requested again, the IP address can be returned from the cache instead of having to perform a new lookup. This speeds up the resolution process and reduces the load on the DNS servers.

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)

  • DHCP is a client-server protocol that is used to automatically assign IP addresses to devices on a network.
  • When a device, such as a computer or a smartphone, connects to a network, it sends a broadcast message requesting an IP address. The DHCP server on the network receives the request and assigns an available IP address to the device.
  • DHCP also assigns other network configuration parameters such as the subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS server information to the device.
  • DHCP is important for network management as it automates the process of assigning IP addresses, which reduces the possibility of errors and conflicts. It also allows for more efficient use of IP addresses, by allowing them to be reused when a device is no longer connected to the network.
  • DHCP is a dynamic protocol, as it assigns IP addresses temporarily, also known as leasing. Lease time can be set on the DHCP server, after which the DHCP client will have to request for a new IP address. This allows DHCP server to assign that IP address to another client if required.
  • DHCP also includes the provision for DHCP clients to be assigned a fixed IP address, called DHCP reservations. This can be useful when you have devices that need to be accessed by the same IP address all the time, such as servers.
Also Read:   Difference Between DNS and VPN

Differences between DNS and DHCP

  • The primary difference between DNS and DHCP is their purpose and function. DNS is used to translate domain names to IP addresses, while DHCP is used to assign IP addresses to devices on a network.
  • DNS is a hierarchical, decentralized system that relies on a distributed database of DNS records stored on servers all over the world. DHCP, on the other hand, is a client-server protocol that assigns IP addresses to devices on a specific network.
  • DNS is used for internet communication and allows users to access websites and other resources using human-friendly domain names. DHCP, on the other hand, is used for network management and assigns IP addresses and other network configuration parameters to devices on a network.
  • While DNS and DHCP work together to enable communication on a network, they are configured and managed separately. DNS is typically managed by an organization’s IT department, while DHCP is typically managed by a network administrator.
  • DHCP is a dynamic protocol, it assigns IP addresses temporarily and releases them when they are no longer needed, while DNS is a static protocol, it resolves domain name to IP addresses and keeps them same unless changes are made.
  • DHCP assigns other network configuration parameters such as the subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS server information to the device, while DNS only resolves domain names to IP addresses.

Conclusion

DNS and DHCP are two important protocols used in computer networking that play crucial roles in enabling communication on the internet and managing network configurations.

DNS is responsible for resolving domain names to IP addresses, allowing users to access websites and other resources using human-friendly domain names. DHCP is responsible for assigning IP addresses to devices on a network and managing network configurations.

While they have different functions and purposes, DNS and DHCP work together to enable communication on a network. Understanding the difference between these two protocols is important for network administration and troubleshooting.

DNS is a hierarchical and decentralized system that relies on a distributed database of DNS records stored on servers all over the world, DHCP is a client-server protocol that assigns IP addresses and other network configurations to devices on a specific network.

DNS is used for Internet communication, DHCP is used for network management and both are essential for the smooth functioning of a network.

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