Difference Between DHCP and BOOTP

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between DHCP and BOOTP

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The IP address of the host, as well as the bootstrap information, is obtained using the BOOTP and DHCP protocols. Both protocols operate in slightly different ways. The DHCP protocol is a more advanced form of BOOTP. The main distinction between BOOTP and DHCP is that BOOTP allows for static IP address setup while DHCP allows for dynamic configuration. It means that DHCP allocates and obtains IP addresses automatically from computers connected to the internet, as well as providing certain other services. The acronyms BOOTP and DHCP stand for Bootstrap Protocol and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, respectively. These methods are used to obtain the host's information science address as well as the bootstrap information.

Each protocol works differently in some aspects. The expanded version of the Bootstrap Protocol is the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. BOOTP, or Bootstrap protocol, is used to configure a host and obtain its address as well as bootstrap information. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Server (DHCP) is an expanded version of BOOTP that is used to manually configure hosts.


The key distinction between DHCP and BOOTP is that DHCP supports mobile machines. Mobile machines, on the other hand, are not supported by BOOTP. The DHCP lease duration is less than the BOOTP lease duration. DHCP gives a temporary IP address, however, it is only valid for a limited time. BOOTP does not provide a service for temporary IP addresses. The DHCP protocol is used to simplify network administration. One of the most dependable IP address settings. The internet will not be slowed. DHCP is nearly universally utilized in residential routers. People will utilize a Raspberry Pi as a DHCP server on other PCs in various circumstances. You can install and use third-party software on your Windows operating system.

The host, as well as the host address and bootstrap information, can be configured using BOOTP. It's frequently utilized in many different kinds of networks. It is necessary to use DHCP to enable the BOOTP service. The most significant downside is that they do not offer security. They'll simply send the information to anyone who requests it. They believe your network is set up to provide access to the server world. Many people are already familiar with DHCP as it is used in many networks, both corporate and personal.

Many people are unaware that DHCP was created to replace the earlier Bootstrap Protocol, more widely known as BOOTP, to adapt to the evolving needs of the industry. BOOTP was created to provide an IP address while the computer was booting up or during the bootstrap procedure. BOOTP can also direct the client to the location of an image file containing an operating system, which is useful for thin clients and diskless machines.

DHCP is designed to provide IP addresses to computers that are moved often. Unlike BOOTP, which requires communication with the client during the boot process, DHCP can connect with the client after the operating system has been loaded. This makes it easier for consumers to keep their laptops up and running without having to reboot them frequently. BOOTP requires rebooting because it is the only way for the client to renew the lease that has been assigned to it.

The purpose of both protocols is reflected in the duration of the default lease time. BOOTP does not anticipate the computers connected to the network being moved frequently. As a result, it gives each computer a 30-day default lease on its IP address. If the leases do not expire fast, DHCP will run out of IP addresses to assign to new computers. As a result, the default lease period is reduced to 8 days. BOOTP is inferior to DHCP. The only time BOOTP is used is when dealing with diskless computer systems that require the location of an image file.

Differences Between DHCP and BOOTP in Tabular Form

Parameters of comparison DHCP BOOTP
Abbreviations Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Bootstrap Protocol
IP address Provided Not provided
Mobile machines supported Not supported
Configurations It implies auto-configuration.   It implies manual configuration.
Clients BOOTP clients were supported. DHCP clients were not supported.

What is DHCP?

It is a protocol for network management. This is used to configure IP network devices. It supports network protocols like NTP, UDP, DNS, and TCP. You can turn off DHCP if you see any potential for misbehavior in the networks. There will be insecure networks and incorrect setups on occasion. Only in these circumstances will people disable DHCP. It is one of the best solutions for providing IP addresses in most cases. It ensures that the router is not shared with any other network devices. It's easy to set up a DHCP server. The first step is to press the Add button. The DHCP server will be opened.

The second stage entails choosing an interface. You must click Next in the third step. The server's network environment must be chosen for the fourth step.

You must click Next in the fifth step. The static IP address must be configured in the sixth step. The DHCP settings must be configured in the final stage. The best part about DHCP is that it can handle IP addresses all by itself. The disadvantage of DHCP is that it is difficult to track internet usage. Because the machine may have two or more IP addresses. You can't utilize DHCP if you don't have a static IP since their IP will change.

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) dynamically assigns IP addresses throughout the network. DHCP is more flexible than BOOTP, and it is backward compatible, meaning it can work with BOOTP clients. There are three reasons why dynamic IP address assignment is beneficial.

  • IP addresses are assigned on a case-by-case basis.
  • Manual IP settings should be avoided.
  • Support device mobility.

If there is a shortage of genuine IP addresses, then IP addresses are pooled centrally. When someone wishes to access the internet, an IP address is assigned temporarily; after the task is completed, the IP address is withdrawn and given to another person (machine).

DHCP aids in the temporary assignment of IP addresses. In other words, IP addresses are assigned for a set period and then withdrawn when the lease expires. DHCP is required for wireless networks where computers can connect and disconnect rapidly.

DHCP includes timers.

Lease Renewal Timer: This is used by the client machine to send DHCP requests to the server to extend the timer.

Lease Rebinding Timer: When the Lease Rebinding Timer expires, the client receives no answers and the server is deemed to be down. The DHCP request is then broadcast to all servers using the IP broadcast service.

Lease Expiry Timer: When this timer runs out, the system crashes because no valid IP address for a host is available on the network.

What is BOOTP?

It is used in the internet protocol to assign an IP address to network devices through the usage of a configuration server. BOOTP allows a client to discover their IP address. They can also use a server to determine the name of the load file. This information can be quickly found by a client without disrupting the client's user. It's a network service for Mac that learns various network configurations automatically. The front panel can be used to enable and disable it. Because all data will be kept in the network cloud for efficient use, they are used in a diskless environment without media.

It is the process of delivering and receiving data between a server and a client. It also uses a network server to send the relevant answers. Because it relies on motherboards and network administrators, no external storage is required.

The BOOTP client can be used on any device that requires configuration. The BOOTP server is a network device dedicated to responding to BOOTP client queries. It can be programmed with addresses and other data, and clients can then provide this data as needed. The advanced network management protocol is built on it. When the computer is in the first startup stage, it is employed during the bootstrap process.

Bootstrap Process

It is a technique of obtaining information recorded in a configuration file for an internet-connected computer, such as (the IP address, subnet mask, router address, and IP address of the name server). These pieces of information must be known by the machine connected to a TCP/IP internet. The Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) is a client-server protocol for obtaining the above-mentioned information from a diskless or newly booted machine. If the computer or workstation has no hard drive, the operating system and networking software are stored in read-only memory.

RARP is the forerunner to BOOTP and performs the same purpose, but its limitation is that it just offers information about IP addresses and does not supply any more information.

As previously stated, BOOTP is a protocol that allows for static setup. The reason behind BOOTP's static nature is that when only one router is connected to the rest of the internet, there is no need to dynamically discover or change routers. If there are numerous routers linked to the internet, though. If a single router crashes, a host's attempt to retrieve the default route at startup can result in connection loss. Furthermore, the crash may go undetected.

When a client requests its IP address, the BOOTP server consults a table that contains a mapping of the physical address to the IP address. BOOTP does not operate with mobile computers; it only works when the physical and IP address bindings are static and fixed in the table. It employs a restricted network address.

Main Differences Between DHCP and BOOTP in Points

  • The DHCP lease time is eight days for Microsoft routers and one day for Cisco routers.
  • The requisite discs for storing and forwarding the required information are employed by DHCP. BOOTP, on the other hand, is used to provide data to workstations or diskless machines.
  • Only when the OS is fully loaded can DHCP provide an IP address. In BOOTP, however, IP can be specified while the computer is loading.
  • DHCP provides support for mobile machines. BOOTP, on the other hand, does not support mobile machines.
  • Auto-configuration is used by DHCP. BOOTP, on the other hand, is configured manually.
  • BOOTP is a static protocol that can be configured manually. DHCP, on the other hand, is a dynamic protocol that allows for manual, dynamic, and automatic IP address configuration.
  • DHCP provides on-demand IP addressing, but BOOTP does not provide temporary IP address allocation.
  • DHCP is capable of handling mobile machines. BOOTP, on the other hand, cannot configure or access information from mobile machines and only works with fixed connections.
  • BOOTP is prone to failures due to human configuration, whereas DHCP problems are uncommon.
  • The information is provided by BOOTP to the diskless PC or workstation. DHCP necessitates the use of discs to store and forward data.
  • Access to BOOTP IP Configuration and Information is not possible, but DHCP supports machine mobility.
  • Only manual configuration is available with BOOTP. DHCP acquires and assigns IP addresses automatically.


Both of these network protocols are required for a secure connection. DHCP connections are used in BOOTP. When it comes to giving connections in BOOTP, having a thorough understanding of DHCP is crucial. Both have straightforward connected procedures to follow. These connections are simple to set up on your Windows operating system. Their activities are unique, and they work in various types for various conditions. The disadvantage of BOOTP is that it does not support mobile machines. DHCP is used to facilitate mobile machines. As a result, this becomes a benefit.

The protocols BOOTP and DHCP are used by a host to access or configure IP parameters from the server. BOOTP is an extension of DHCP. These operations happen during the host's boot time in BOOTP. ISPs prefer DHCP because it allows a host to get a temporary IP address, which is not possible with BOOTP. DHCP is more efficient and provides more detailed information than BOOTP.


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"Difference Between DHCP and BOOTP." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sat. 11 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-dhcp-and-bootp-410>.

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