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DHCP - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
The name almost spells out exactly what it does. In basic it is a protocol that dynamically assigns an IP address to a device. This is common place where multiple devices are connecting to a network. As opposed to statically setting the device addresses in place and adjusting each device when a change is made to a network. The DHCP setup allows for a ever changing and easy to administer network.
With DHCP when settings change or a new device is connected to the network the device sends out a UDP packet for available dhcp servers. The DHCP servers respond with an offer with the leased ip parameters. The device accepts the request and uses the leased ip parameters. The DHCP server makes note that this ip is in use and will not lease it in the future until it has expired.