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Difference Between DHCP and PPPOE

dns_dhcpDHCP vs PPPOE

The terms DHCP and PPPOE might not seem to be related to each other as the common usage of both are not the same. DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and is commonly used in networks to automatically provide IP addresses to client computers so that they can communicate with other elements on the network. PPPOE stands for Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet. This is an Ethernet encapsulation of the Point to Point Protocol that is commonly used with dial-up connections. This allows the modem to be a part of the network that multiple users can utilize instead of being connected directly to the computer.

DHCP is very popular as a great majority of networks use it to provide seamless connections to computers that are moved very often. But what some people do not know is that DHCP is already being used in connecting to an ISP. A lot of ISPs are slowly beginning to use DHCP instead of PPPOE because it offers a major advantage. Unlike PPPOE, which needs to be configured correctly before a user can actually connect to the internet, modems that use DHCP does not need to be configured and is basically plug and play.

When using PPPOE, your ISP would provide you with a username and a password that you need in order to dial-up to your ISP and establish a connection. In the past, this is done just like a traditional dial-up connection; with a dialer on your desktop. More recent modems now incorporate the PPPOE dialer into them. You can simply set your username and password once and your modem automatically connects to the internet whenever you turn it on. Problems can occur when you lose or forget your username and password and the only possible solution would be to call up your ISP and ask for it again.

Using DHCP to connect to an ISP eliminates the problems that are associated with PPPOE. Just like with computers on a network, you do not need to configure your computer beforehand. You simply leave everything on automatic and leave the configuration to the ISP servers.

Summary:
1. DHCP is a protocol for obtaining IP addresses while PPPOE is a common method of connecting to an ISP
2. DHCP is very popular and is widely used while PPPOE is slowly falling out of favor
3. You would need to have a username and password with PPPOE while the configuration of DHCP is automatic


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4 Comments

  1. great article explaining the differences.

    If your connection goes down, don’t spend 32 hours waiting for the ISP to call you back with new info. I waited and waited, during this time I did all new cords, uninstalled-reinstalled my AV, Threatcast, and Spyw.Terminator programs, bought two diff.routers……the ISP had gone to PPPoe from DHCP and forgot to reset me and tell all the customers they changed the new setup.
    !~!

  2. But then, how do you provide authentification of the user as an ISP with DHCP? You still need to know if the right person is using the bandwidth right?

    • No need to check whether the right person is getting the bandwidth – as the days of dialup are over. Whether FTTH, cable, Wimax, 3G, 4G or DSL there is physical cabling and other layer 1 methods of identifying the users (with the telephone services we have the IMEI or IMSI or MISDN, with cable, Wimax or DSL we can use DHCP Option 82 (remote id & circuit id) to id the user, with GPON we can use that as well as FSAN – both can if the users.)

    • DHCP Option 82. By combination of the circuit id and remote id, the ISP can know form where is the DHCP request originating and hence can allocate resources to the customer accordingly.

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