Configuring a Router to Use DHCP: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

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Configuring a Router to Use DHCP: 8 Steps (with Pictures)
Configuring a Router to Use DHCP: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

Many people don't like the hassle of assigning a static IP address to every PC on the network. The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP for short, eliminates the need to do this by allowing it to automatically configure IP settings. This manual and the examples are based on the Qwest Actiontec Q1000 router. Other routers will differ slightly from this. but the standard procedure is the same for all routers.


Configure a Router to Use DHCP Step 1

Step 1. Launch a browser

Connect to your router by entering the IP address. This varies by brand and is stated in the router's documentation.

  • Here are some known IP addresses for different routers:
  • Linksys, 3Com, Asus, Dell, US Robotics:
  • Qwest (AKA CenturyLink), DLink, Netgear, Trendnet, Senao:
  • Belkin, Microsoft, and SMC:
  • Apple:
  • If you've lost the documentation and your router isn't listed, search Google for your router's name and "default IP address" to find the correct information.
  • Another way to find your router's IP address is this: On a PC, open Command Prompt (click Start > Run/Search for cmd) and type ipconfig. Find the line with Default Gateway, and try that number.
  • On a Macintosh, open the network control panel (System Preferences…, network) and search for router:

    This is the IP address of your router.

Configure a Router to Use DHCP Step 2

Step 2. Log in

If prompted, enter your router's name and password, and log in to your router. Not all routers require this step. If your router requires a password by default, it will be in your documentation. The default password is often "admin," and you can leave the username field blank.

Configure a Router to Use DHCP Step 3

Step 3. Go to Settings -> Basic settings.

Scroll down until you DHCP server (Enable/(Disable) with some radio buttons. If it is disabled, select Switch

Configure a Router to Use DHCP Step 4

Step 4. If you want, you can change the number that DHCP assigns the IP addresses

This is optional and depends on your personal preference. If you're not sure what this is, it's completely safe to skip this step.

Some routers have the option to specify the maximum number of DHCP clients. If your router has this option, add up all computers, smartphones and other devices that use the internet (such as Apple TV). Add a few more for guests who come to visit and want to use their smartphones with the internet. When the maximum number is reached, no one else can get an address until another one is no longer used

Configure a Router to Use DHCP Step 5

Step 5. Set up the DNS

Use the DNS servers provided by your ISP, or use the following DNS servers:,, There are many DNS servers to be found. Best to use your ISP's.

Configure a Router to Use DHCP Step 6

Step 6. Save your settings

Press the button Save or To apply, or whatever your router calls the button that saves the changes.

Configure a Router to Use DHCP Step 7

Step 7. Configure your network devices

Open the network configurations of the computers in your network. In Windows, go to Control Panel -> Network Connections -> LAN connection (or Wireless connection) and select Obtain IP address automatically. On the Mac, go to System Preferences and click on the network. Select now Using DHCP. On a Wi-Fi enabled device, check the Wi-Fi settings and select DHCP as the source of the IP address.

Configure a Router to Use DHCP Step 8

Step 8. You're done


Refer to your router's manual for instructions. This general guide should get you started in most cases. The basics are all the same, but the actual location of parts within the router software differs


  • Make sure you have physical access to your network device in case you need to factory reset it.
  • Activating DHCP on an unsecured wireless network is something you should definitely not do. That way, anyone can connect to it and steal your bandwidth without any networking knowledge.

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