Does DHCP Send DNS Server?


Scott Campbell

Does DHCP Send DNS Server?

In computer networking, DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a protocol used to automatically assign IP addresses to devices on a network. It simplifies network administration by centralizing IP address management and configuration. One of the key pieces of information that DHCP can provide to devices is the DNS (Domain Name System) server address.

Understanding DNS Servers

DNS servers are responsible for translating human-readable domain names, such as, into machine-readable IP addresses, such as They play a critical role in enabling internet communication by resolving domain names to their corresponding IP addresses.

The Role of DHCP

DHCP servers are responsible for assigning various network configuration parameters to devices on a network. These parameters include the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS server address.

When a device connects to a network and requests an IP address from the DHCP server, it also receives other configuration details like the DNS server address. This information is crucial for the device to communicate with other devices on the internet using domain names.

DHCP Options

DHCP uses options to convey specific information to devices during the configuration process. One of these options is option 6 – DNS server(s). When a device requests an IP address from the DHCP server, it includes this option in its request.

If the DHCP server supports option 6 and has been configured with one or more DNS server addresses, it includes this information in its response to the device. The device then uses this provided DNS server address for resolving domain names.


  • A device sends a DHCP request to obtain an IP address on a network.
  • The DHCP server receives the request and checks its configuration.
  • If the DHCP server is configured with DNS server addresses, it includes option 6 in its response.
  • The device receives the response and extracts the DNS server address(es) from option 6.
  • The device uses the provided DNS server address(es) for all subsequent DNS lookups.

Benefits of DHCP Providing DNS Server Address

By providing the DNS server address through DHCP, network administrators can centrally manage and update DNS server addresses for all devices on a network. This simplifies maintenance and ensures that devices are always using up-to-date and correct DNS servers.

Additionally, it allows organizations to easily switch or update their DNS infrastructure without individually reconfiguring each device on the network. The new DNS server addresses can be updated in a central DHCP configuration, and all devices will automatically receive the updated information when renewing their IP leases.


DHCP is capable of sending the DNS server address to devices during their initial configuration. This feature simplifies network administration, ensures consistent and accurate DNS resolution, and allows for easy management of DNS infrastructure changes. By leveraging DHCP to provide this critical information, networks can function efficiently while minimizing manual configuration tasks.

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