Anatomy of the DHCP assignment process

I.) There are two ways to configure your Network connection.

1.) The first (due to it being a "default" setting for most network adapters) and best way to configure your network connection is to enable a process called DHCP (for "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol"), also referred to as a "Dynamic IP Assignment", because the DHCP server can change assignments on an "as needed" basis.

2.) The second way it to manually specify your settings, also referred to as a "Static IP Assignment", because the system will forever keep your manual assignment until you tell it otherwise.

II.) The DHCP Server will deliver (as part of the actual DHCP assignment) the data that your Network adapter will need to configure itself. It is up to your ISP, or the hotspot provider (e.g. "Starbucks", the local coffee shop, a lot of major airports, etc) that is responsible to transmit this information to your device.

1.) Basically, the DHCP process has four parts:

  • Discovery: Your iPAQ sees a new network and inquires "can anyone here help me?".
  • Offer: DHCP Server says "yes, I can help you" and provides assignment
  • Request: Your iPAQ agrees to assignments and requests lease.
  • Acknowledgement: DHCP Server allows lease, iPAQ configures itself w/options supplied by DHCP Server.

2.) Now the option supplied by the Router should include the following basic settings:

  • Client IP Address
  • DNS Server IP Address (Primary & Secondary)
  • DHCP Server IP Address
  • Gateway IP Address
  • Subnet Mask (usually
  • WINS Server IP Address (Primary & Secondary)


III.) Ultimately, your Network Adapter is responsible for configuring itself based on those options (it may decide not to use some or all of the options).

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