Short for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, a protocol to assign dynamic IP addresses to devices on a network. With dynamic addressing, a device can have a different IP address each time connected to the network. In some systems, the device IP address can even change while still connected. DHCP also supports a mix of static and dynamic IP addresses.
Dynamic addressing simplifies network administration because the software tracks IP addresses rather than requiring an administrator to manage the task. This means that new computers can be added to the network without the hassle of manually assign a unique IP address. Many ISPs use dynamic IP addressing for dial-up users.