DHCP vs BOOTP: Difference and Comparison

Studying networks in computer science is very important. Without the knowledge of computer networks, people cannot understand how computers work and the connection behind them.

The two essential connection protocols in computer networks are DHCP and BOOTP. DHCP is a network management protocol, and BOOTP is an internet protocol.

Key Takeaways

  1. DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) dynamically assigns IP addresses to devices on a network.
  2. BOOTP (Bootstrap Protocol) is an older protocol for assigning IP addresses, primarily used for diskless workstations.
  3. DHCP is more versatile than BOOTP, offering additional configuration options and better support for modern networks.


BOOTP is an older protocol that assigns IP addresses to network devices during the boot process. At the same time, DHCP is a more advanced and flexible protocol that provides automatic IP address assignment and additional configuration information. DHCP is easier to manage and more scalable than BOOTP.


DHCP is used for reducing network administration. It is one of the reliable IP address configurations.

It will not slow down the internet. The DHCP server is almost used in all home routers.

Sometimes, people will use a raspberry pi as a DHCP server on other computers. You can install and run a third-party DHCP server on your Windows operating system. 

BOOTP can be used to configure the host along with the host address and bootstrap info. It is widely used in various types of networks.

To enable the BOOTP service, you have to do it via DHCP. The most significant disadvantage is that they don’t provide security.

They will send the information to whoever asks. They think that your network is configured to make the server world accessible. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDHCPBOOTP
ExpansionDynamic Host Configuration ProtocolBootstrap Protocol
Temporary IP addressingIt will provide.It will not provide.
Mobile machinesIt will support.It does not support.
ConfigurationIt uses auto-configuration.  It uses manual configuration.
ClientsBOOTP clients are supported here.DHCP clients are not supported here.

What is DHCP?

It is a network management protocol. This is used for configuring devices in IP networks.

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It allows using network services such as NTP, UDP, DNS, and TCP. If you find any chance of misbehaviour in the networks, you can switch off the DHCP.

Sometimes there will be unsecured networks and wrong configurations.

These are the only cases where people will switch off DHCP. It is one of the best solutions for providing IP addresses in typical circumstances. 

It ensures that the router is not assigned to any other devices in the network. Creating a DHCP server is simple.

It can be done with some simple steps. The first step is to click Add. It will open the DHCP server.

For the second step, you need to select an interface. In the third step, you need to click Next.

For the fourth step, you need to select the network environment for the server. 

In the fifth step, you need to click Next. For the sixth step, you have to configure the static IP address.

In the last step, you need to configure the DHCP settings. The best thing about using DHCP is it can manage the IP addresses independently.

The downside of using DHCP is that it is difficult to trace internet activity because the machine might have two or more different IP addresses.

If you don’t have a static IP, you cannot use DHCP as their IP will change. 

What is BOOTP?

It is used in internet protocol for assigning an IP address to network devices using a configuration server. With the help of BOOTP, a client can find their IP address.

They can also find the name of the load file from a server. A client can easily find this information without interrupting the client’s user.

BOOTP was defined originally in RFC 951. In Mac, it is a network service that automatically learns various network parameters.

It can be enabled and disabled using the front panel. They are used in a diskless environment without media because all the data will be stored in the network cloud for efficient use.

It is a data transfer between a server and a client for sending and receiving requests. It also sends the corresponding responses using a network server.

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It uses motherboards and network managers, so no external storage outside the network is required.

You can use the BOOTP client on any device that needs to be configured. BOOTP server is a network device specially used to respond to BOOTP client requests.

It can be programmed with addressing and other information; clients can provide this information whenever required. It is the basis of the advanced network management protocol.

It is used during the bootstrap process when the computer is in the initial starting stage. 

Main Differences Between DHCP and BOOTP

  1. The lease period in DHCP is eight days for Microsoft and one day for Cisco routers. On the other hand, the duration of the lease period in BOOTP is 30 days.
  2. DHCP has used the required disks for storing and forwarding the required information. On the other hand, BOOTP is for providing information to workstations or diskless computers.
  3. In DHCP, IP can be provided only when the OS is fully loaded. On the other hand, in BOOTP, IP can be provided when the computer is loading.
  4. DHCP supports mobile machines. On the other hand, mobile machines are not supported by BOOTP.
  5. DHCP uses auto configuration. On the other hand, BOOTP uses manual configuration.
  1. https://www.grdjournals.com/uploads/article/GRDJE/V01/I01/0015/Published_file_2015_12_29_10_35_30.pdf
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01200851

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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