What Is Difference Between DHCP and DNS Server?


Heather Bennett

What Is the Difference Between DHCP and DNS Server?

When it comes to networking, there are several essential concepts that every IT professional should understand. Two of these concepts are DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) and DNS (Domain Name System).

While both DHCP and DNS servers play crucial roles in enabling communication within a network, they serve different purposes. In this article, we will explore the differences between DHCP and DNS servers.

DHCP Server

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is a network management protocol used to assign IP addresses automatically to devices on a network. The purpose of a DHCP server is to simplify the process of configuring IP settings on client devices by assigning them unique IP addresses, subnet masks, default gateways, and other related parameters.

A DHCP server operates using a lease-based system. When a device connects to the network, it sends a request to the DHCP server for an IP address lease.

The server then assigns an available IP address from its predefined pool of addresses. This lease has a specific duration after which the device must renew or release the IP address.

Benefits of DHCP:

  • Simplifies network administration by automating IP address assignment
  • Reduces human errors that may occur when manually configuring IP settings
  • Enables efficient management of large networks with numerous devices
  • Saves time by eliminating the need for manual configuration on each device

DNS Server

DNS, which stands for Domain Name System, is responsible for translating domain names into their corresponding IP addresses. Every website or service on the internet has an associated IP address that identifies its location on the network. Without DNS, we would have to remember and use IP addresses instead of convenient domain names.

When a user enters a domain name into a web browser, the DNS server is queried to resolve the domain name to its corresponding IP address. The DNS server stores a database of domain names and their associated IP addresses. If it has the requested information, it returns the IP address to the client device, allowing it to establish a connection with the desired destination.

Benefits of DNS:

  • Enables users to access websites and services using easy-to-remember domain names
  • Allows websites and services to change their IP addresses without affecting accessibility
  • Improves network performance by caching frequently accessed DNS records
  • Facilitates load balancing by distributing incoming requests across multiple servers

Difference Between DHCP and DNS Servers

The main difference between DHCP and DNS servers lies in their functionality and purpose:


  • Assigns IP addresses automatically to devices on a network
  • Simplifies network administration by automating IP configuration
  • Uses lease-based system for managing IP address assignments
  • Helps prevent IP conflicts on the network


  • Translates domain names into corresponding IP addresses
  • Makes it easier for users to access websites using domain names instead of IP addresses
  • Stores databases of domain names and their associated IP addresses
  • Facilitates website accessibility and load balancing


While both DHCP and DNS servers are essential components of a network infrastructure, they serve different purposes. DHCP assigns IP addresses to devices, simplifying network administration, while DNS translates domain names into IP addresses for easier accessibility. Understanding the difference between these two servers is crucial for effectively managing and troubleshooting network environments.

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