Configuring DHCP on Your Windows Computer

Here’s a Quick Guide on how to configure DHCP in a Microsoft Windows network

One of the more confusing parts of setting up a network is DHCP or more technically referred to as Dynamic Host Control Protocol.
It’s also one of the most fundamental and luckily for the beginner one of the easier tasks to complete, for almost all home user environments your Router is going to be doing all the work here.
Every computer and/or “resource” on a network has to have a unique TCP/IP address so the router can tell which data needs to be sent to which machine.
Just as every website has an address, such as: 205.205.47.18 ( the address of this site )

Although with a website that address is going to called a “public” address meaning that it’s able to be found on the internet, but the computers on your home network will have what’s called a “private” address and will be made up of one of a few ranges of addresses set aside for smaller networks.  It’s the public facing address that everyone online sees and in fact determines what you can access.  For example if you’ve got a UK IP address then you can access British resources, otherwise you’ll need to use a proxy like in this post – How to Watch Channel 4 Abroad.

 

As far as Private addresses go there are 3 sets of numbers you can use, they are:
10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255
172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255
192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255
It is your choice which to use just remember all the pc’s must use the same range of numbers in order to “see” each other.
Most vendors of routers are going to have a set of addresses they like to use and it’s easiest to simply follow their lead and continue to use numbers from the same range.

Also, IP addresses in the range of 169.254.0.0 -169.254.255.255 are reserved for Automatic Private IP Addressing. -which are address used by MS Windows if it can’t find an address from another source, so you don’t want to see this as your computers address.

To check your IP address of your computer click here IP address

All that may sound technical and complicated, however, here’s where the easy part comes in-
You could manually assign these addresses to each of your computers one by one. This technique is called “Static” addressing, and is used in more advanced set-ups.

But that’s too much work and not as efficient as using DHCP where your router will simply hand out new addresses to each new PC as it boots up and gets discovered on the network. DHCP is especially useful when you are trying to determine if your computer and router are connected and functioning.
If your computer has a private IP address then it must have gotten that information from the router and therefore they must be communicating.

So, let’s check some settings in Windows-
First, you need to verify that DHCP is turned on in the configuration of your router. For this you will need to check with the documention that was supplied with your router.
IF you can’t get to the configuration screens for your router click here

Second, you need to verify each computer is set to use DHCP. The steps for this are slightly different in each version of Windows, so follow the directions on each of the specific version of Windows because they are slightly different.The Final step is to check and verify that you have gotten a address from your router and that your computer and router are “talking.”
To do so click on the link below to check your IP address and verify connectivity.

Further Reading: http://residentialip.net/ip-address-questions-why-use-residential-ip-addresses/

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