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Should I configure my computers and server to obtain IP addresses automatically?

I have a Linksys 8 port auto-sensing hub with seven computers, then the hub is plugged into a Linksys five port switch that goes to a Linksys router. Would the right configuration be to have all seven computers and the server obtain an IP address automatically?

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Configuring all seven computers to obtain an automatic IP address from the server really depends on your needs and the way your network functions.

If the logical network changes quite frequently, then it's probably best to have your clients to obtain their IP address and related settings from your server as it will remove the administrative overhead associated with manually reconfiguring them every time a change is performed.

On the other hand, if changes are infrequent, you might want to consider assigning them a static IP. The bottom line is that whichever method you use, its pretty much the same because of the size of your network.

At my office, I deal with over 200 clients, so having all clients on static IP's would require technicians to visit each desktop when any changes are performed on the logical network! In this case, it's best to use a DHCP server that will automatically send all clients the correct settings.

In closing, I would highly suggest you replace the HUB you mentioned with a switch. The performance increase and network stability is incomparable between the two connectivity devices, especially if you have users transferring large files.

This was first published in February 2004

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