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TCP/IP Guide by Charles M. Kozierok

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DHCP Autoconfiguration/Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA)

The IP address of a TCP/IP host is, in many ways, its identity. Every TCP/IP network requires that all hosts have unique addresses to facilitate communication. When a network is manually configured with a distinct IP address for each host, the hosts permanently know who they are. When hosts are made DHCP clients, they no longer have a permanent identity; they rely on a DHCP server to tell them who they are.

This dependency is not a problem as long as DHCP is functioning normally and a host can get a lease, and, in fact, has many benefits that we have explored. Unfortunately, a number of circumstances can arise that result in a client failing to get a lease. The client may not be able ...

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