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Registering for DHCP

What is DHCP?

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a way of setting up your computer so that it automatically obtains the correct network settings for connecting to a network (e.g. the University Network). This removes the need to manually configure the network control panel.

Why use DHCP?

Once your machine is registered for using DHCP, any changes IT Services need to make to the network will be automatically applied to your computer. You need not even be aware that it is happening and may carry on working as normal even though the network may have been altered significantly.

Can I use my laptop in more than one building?

With DHCP yes you can, but you will need to have registered an IP address for each location (building) you need to connect in. Each department on campus is typically on a different network.

How do I use DHCP?

To use DHCP you must have applied for an IP address.

If you already have an IP Address (i.e. your computer is already working on the campus network) you can register by emailing your IP address and network card address to its-help@reading.ac.uk saying you wish to register your computer for DHCP.

If you do not have an IP address you will need to apply for one on an IP address form. You can request DHCP at the same time by entering your Ethernet address on the IP application form.

In both cases you need to provide the Ethernet/adapter address from your network adapter.

How do I find out my Ethernet adapter address?

Ethernet adapter addresses (sometimes called MAC, NIC, adapter or hardware addresses) are pre-set in the Ethernet adapter. For laptops, this address is often written on the outside of the card and is a string of 12 numbers and letters usually separated by colons or dashes, e.g.

00:0A:12:2F:45:6A

This may also be displayed on the label on the cardboard box that your Ethernet adapter or computer came in.

Please see the following link for information on Obtaining your network addresses from your PC.

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Last Edited: 19 April 2016 | First Published: 2 February 2007

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