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Difference Between DHCP and BOOTP

dhcp_bookDHCP vs BOOTP

A lot of people are already quite familiar with DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) as it is very commonplace in a lot of networks, whether corporate or home. What a lot of people don’t know is that DHCP was designed to be the successor to the older Bootstrap Protocol, more commonly referred to as BOOTP to adapt to the changing needs of the industry.

BOOTP was designed to provide an IP address during the bootstrap process or while the computer is booting up. BOOTP is also capable of pointing the client to the location of an image file containing an operating system, which can be used by thin clients or diskless computers.

DHCP focuses on providing IP addresses to computers that may be relocated quite often. Unlike BOOTP that needs to communicate with the client during bootstrap, DHCP is able to communicate with the client after the operating system is loaded. This makes it easier for users to properly have their computers up and running without having to reboot the computer all the time. Rebooting is necessary for BOOTP as it is the only means that the client can renew the lease that has been assigned to it.

The length of the default lease time also reflects the purpose of both protocols. BOOTP does not expect the computers attached to the network to be moved often. It therefore provides a lengthy 30 day default lease on the IP address for each computer. DHCP needs the leases to expire pretty quickly or it might run out of IP addresses to give to new computers. It therefore provides a shorter default lease time of 8 days.

DHCP is proven to be a lot more superior to BOOTP. The only reason that people might opt to using BOOTP is when dealing with diskless computer systems that needs to locate its image file.

1. DHCP was designed to replace the older BOOTP
2. BOOTP can only provide an IP to a computer while it is booting while DHCP can provide an IP when the OS is already loaded
3. DHCP is primarily used to seamlessly provide IP addresses to computers while BOOTP is used to configure and boot diskless computers or thin clients
4. BOOTP has a 30 day lease on the IP address as a default while DHCP only sets 8 as a default
5. DHCP can automatically rebind or renew their leases while BOOTP requires a system restart

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  1. Important difference between BOOTP and DHCP is,

    1.DHCP server identifies DHCP client messages by using option 51(DHCP Message Type)
    2.Bootp doesn’t know about option51.
    3.DHCP provides finite lease time to clients,while the Bootp provides infinite lease time.
    4.DHCP server can be provide the IP address and additional IP configuration for clients while client is booting.
    5.”Vendor Information” field in Bootp is renamed as “OPTION” field in DHCP.

    • 1.DHCP server identifies DHCP client messages by using option 53(DHCP Message Type) not option 51

      2.Bootp doesn’t know about option53.


  1. Difference Between DHCP and PPPOE | Difference Between | DHCP vs PPPOE

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