Difference between DNS and DHCP

A Domain Name System (DNS) server is used to translate domain names to IP Addresses and vice versa. DHCP is a client/server protocol that automatically assigns an IP address and other configuration information to an Internet Protocol (IP) host.

Read through this article to find out more about DNS and DHCP and how they are different from each other.

What is DNS?

DNS is a hierarchical and decentralized naming system for computers, and other resources that are connected to a private network or the Internet. It connects a variety of bits of data to domain names assigned to each of the participants.

DNS transforms domain names into numerical IP addresses, which are needed to locate and identify computer services and devices utilizing the underlying network protocols. It converts and maps alphabetic domain names (website addresses or names) to numeric Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of computers and servers. It can also reverse the process. User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is used by DNS. The DNS service utilizes port 53.

DNS has been a crucial component of the Internet's operation since 1985, offering a global, distributed domain name system.

By selecting authoritative name servers for each domain, the Domain Name System transfers the duty of mapping those names to the Internet and assigning domain names and services. Other name servers may be given authority over sub-domains of a network administrator's allotted name space. This technique was created to eliminate a single big central database and delivers distributed and fault-tolerant service.

What is DHCP?

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is a network protocol for Internet Protocol (IP) networks that assign IP addresses and other communication settings to devices connected to the network using a client-server architecture.

The technology is made up of two network components: a network DHCP server that is centrally deployed and the client instances of the protocol stack on each computer or device that eliminate the necessity for manually configuring the network devices. When one client first connects to the network, it uses the DHCP protocol to request a set of settings from the DHCP server.

DHCP is a client/server protocol that automatically assigns an IP address and other configuration information to an Internet Protocol (IP) host, such as the subnet mask and default gateway. When using DHCP, the server uses port 67 and the client uses port 68.

When a computer is connected into a different location on the network, DHCP allows a network administrator to oversee and distribute IP addresses from a central location, and it immediately transmits a new Internet Protocol (IP) address.

DHCP is an application layer protocol that provides −

  • Subnet Mask

  • Router Address

  • IP Address

DHCP may be used on a variety of networks, from small home networks to big university networks and regional ISP networks. DHCP server capability is available on many routers and residential gateways.

Difference between DNS and DHCP

The following table highlights the major differences between DNS and DHCP.

DNS stands for Domain Name System.
DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.
DNS Server works on port number 53.
DHCP Server works on ports 67 and 68.
Protocol Supported
UDP and TCP protocols supported.
Only UDP protocol supported.
DNS is a decentralized system.
DHCP is a centralized system.
DNS Server translates domain names to IP addresses and vice versa.
DHCP Server is used to configure hosts mechanically.


DNS is a directory of names that correspond to specific IP addresses, however it is not a single directory. Just like the Internet, the DNS is also You can think of DNS as the contact list on your smartphone, where each contact corresponds to a particular mobile number.

DHCP is a network management protocol that automates the process of configuring the devices on IP networks, thus allowing them to use the various network services. A DHCP server dynamically assigns an IP address and other network configuration parameters to each device on a network so that they can communicate with other IP networks.