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Advantages of DHCP and NAT

What are the advantages of using dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) and network address translation (NAT)?
DHCP is used to make maintaining the network easier. Consider giving every machine on a large network an IP address, then making sure that you never give out the same one twice. When you first start it isn't too hard, but after people leaving, new machines, faulty units, etc. it gets very hard to track which addresses are actually in use. Other benefits include:

  • single point of administration for extended addressing details like DNS servers, domain names, WINS servers
  • lookup MAC address to IP address mappings at a single point

Network Address Translation has a primary purpose of reducing internet address allocation. About 3 or 4 years ago it was obvious we were going to run out of addresses. NAT was developed and deployed to overcome this and has been quite successful.

Hope this helps. It's short but to the point.
This was last published in October 2001

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