What is the Difference Between DNS and DHCP Server? with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation

The main difference between DNS and DHCP server is that the DNS server maps the domain names to the IP addresses while the DHCP server automatically assigns the IP addresses to the hosts on the network every time they connect to the network.

A computer network is a collection of devices such as desktops, servers, laptops, routers, and switches, etc. to share data and resources. The wired or wireless medium helps to connect these devices with each other. A server is a computer program or device that provides services or functionality for other programs and devices. Two of these servers are the DNS server and the DHCP server. 

Key Areas Covered

1. What is DNS server?
     – Definition, Functionality
2. What is DHCP server?
     – Definition, Functionality
3. What is the difference between DNS and DHCP server?
     – Comparison of key differences

Key terms

DNS server, DHCP server

What is the DNS server?

Every device and service on the WWW has an IP address. It is not possible for the user to always use the IP address to access them. The DNS server provides a solution to this problem. When the user enters a domain name in the web browser, the DNS (Domain Name System) server maps the domain name to the corresponding IP address.

For example, when a user types pediaa.com in the web browser’s URL, the DNS server searches its database to find the IP address of the machine. It then displays the home page of the peddia.com website. Then the user can get the required web pages from that website.

What is DHCP server?

Every device on the computer network has an IP address to communicate with each other. There are two ways to assign an IP address. The first method is to assign the IP address manually. This is called static IP addressing. However, it is a difficult method if there are many devices on the network.

The second method is to use a DHCP server. It assigns a dynamic IP address automatically. Every time the device connects to the network, DHCP assigns a dynamic IP address. Therefore, it is not a fixed IP address. This is also called dynamic IP addressing . This is useful for a large network as the DHCP server facilitates the IP addressing process.

Difference Between DNS and DHCP Server


The DNS server is a device that locates Internet domain names and translates them into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. In contrast, DHCP server is a device that dynamically assigns IP address and other network configuration parameters to each device on a network so that they can communicate with each other.

Full Form

While DNS server stands for Domain Name System Server, DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.

Core Functionality

Also, the DNS server maps domain names to corresponding IP addresses. The DHCP server automatically assigns IP addresses to devices when they connect to the network. In other words, the DHCP server allows dynamic IP addressing. This is the main difference between DNS and DHCP server.

Port Numbers

Port number is another difference between DNS server and DHCP server. DNS uses port number 53 while DHCP works with port numbers 67 and 68.

Work Methodology

Also, DNS works in a decentralized way while DHCP works in a centralized way. This is a big difference between DNS and DHCP server.


The DNS server helps map domain names to IP addresses. Therefore, the user does not need to memorize IP addresses. On the other hand, DHCP server helps assign IP addresses to devices automatically, makes it easy to manage a large network.


In summary, DNS and DHCP are common servers in networks. The basic difference between DNS and DHCP server is that the DNS server maps the domain names to the IP addresses while the DHCP server automatically assigns the IP addresses to the hosts on the network every time they connect to the network.


1. How a DNS (Domain Name System) Server Works., PowerCert Animated Videos, May 26, 2016, Available here.
2. DHCP Explained: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, PowerCert Animated Videos, May 1, 2017, Available here.

Courtesy image:

1. “Dns-server-upload” By Б.Өлзий – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “DHCP Server” By Xyliganxyl – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikipedia

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