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DHCP (Dynamic Host Control Protocol) as well as being a method to administer the allocation of IP addresses can be used to dramatically reduce the chore of network administration. By using the 'vendor specific' tags almost any network parameters can be exported from a single DHCP server.
A total of 64 hosts may be supported by the embedded DHCP server in either 'Auto-Allocation' mode or by using the DHCP MAP service. This number allows the server (Air-Frame) to allocate the same IP address to the same host on each request. This behavior is recommended in RFC 2131 and allows a 'known configuration' after the initial address allocation thus internal servers (WINS, FTP. WEB etc.) can be allocated by using DHCP rather than the normal hybrid process of having some Fixed IPs and some DHCP allocated Hosts.
When the DHCP server is first loaded it will automatically allocate Host (PC) IP addresses on a 'first-come-first-serve' basis (after verifying the IP address is not already in use). Alternatively some or all Hosts may configured using the DHCP MAP feature and the DHCP server will auto-allocate the remaining IP addresses.
The user may define a DHCP MAP of the IP address to be allocated to the corresponding Ethernet MAC address. This list may fully define the network or may only be a partial list of those Hosts that require a Fixed IP. all other requests for IP will be taken from the unused pool.
If the router is used in an environment where DHCP allocation is made from a remote server then the router may be configured to operate in a BOOTP mode. In this mode local requests for DHCP service are 'relayed' to the defined DHCP host.
When operating as a DHCP server the router will allocate 'unlimited' IP addresses leases. This minimizes the LAN and PC overheads involved in DHCP services.
The DHCP server, using a combination of standard and 'vendor specific' fields, can be defined to supply all the necessary information to allow hosts to configure themselves for the current network e.g. IP address, net mask, WINS server, Default Gateway and DNS services. In addition other fields, such as bandwidth management parameters, can be downloaded through DHCP.
When configuring a DHCP server in conjunction with a Thin Proxy (SuperNAT) the router will optionally default to an address range of 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.0.64. The user has no need under these circumstances to even know about IP addresses. These addresses are part of the approved address range reserved by IANA for the use of Private Internets (RFC 1918). The user can override this address range by defining any other desired range.