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dhcp server

Posted on 2014-11-17
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Last Modified: 2015-02-27
Hello,

I'm looking for home DHCP server recommendations. I had been using Vicomsoft's product, and was quite happy with it. However, their DHCP server does not run on Windows beyond XP. As my XP Pro machine hardware is starting to die, and with the XP end-of-life issue, I will be replacing it with a Windows 7 Pro machine.

I'd like to get suggestions on DHCP servers for my home LAN. I liked the control granularity on Vicomsoft's product, and simple text file set up. I like being able to assign IP address by MAC address, so I can put network devices in one range, printers in another, entertainment devices (DVRs, BluRay players) in another, computers (mostly Macs), cell phones (Android), tablets, and guest devices each in its own range. Being able to control all this over a simple text file made things very easy. All together, I have about 15 devices in my LAN, and am sure that will grow over time.

I'd like to keep costs reasonable. The Vicomsoft product was around $50, and I got many years of use from it.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
Haj
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Question by:hsano6294
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by:saku99
saku99 earned 200 total points
ID: 40449525
you could try this:

http://dhcpserver.sourceforge.net

it's open source and free so nothing to loose to give it a go
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by:akb
akb earned 100 total points
ID: 40449535
If you don't want your modem/router to do DHCP, why not just assign the addresses manually? For 15 devices I wouldn't bother spending any money on DHCP software. Sounds like you are making it way more complicated than it needs to be,
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Asif Bacchus earned 200 total points
ID: 40457194
Agree with akb, static addressing would be much simpler.  Otherwise, many routers have custom firmware that would allow you to do what you want for free and then you wouldn't have to keep a computer running at all times just for DHCP.  Are you by chance thinking of using DHCP because you also want name resolution in your network (which is actually DNS)?  If so, there are easier ways of accomplishing this also.

However, if you want to run software to do this on one of your Windows 7 machines, here are my top picks (in no particular order, they are all free so it comes down to your preference):

1)   DHCP Server for Windows (http://www.dhcpserver.de/cms/)
2)   Antamedia DHCP server (http://www.antamediadhcp.com/)
3)   Tiny DHCP server (http://www.softcab.com/dhcp-server/index.php) -- super small footprint, but limited features
4)   Open DHCP server (http://sourceforge.net/projects/dhcpserver/)

Good luck!
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Author Comment

by:hsano6294
ID: 40458384
Thank you all for your suggestions. While I agree that 15 devices is a relatively small number, I like the centralized management aspect for a variety of reasons, including:
1) Allows for expansion. As more household appliance become Internet capable, it will be easy to drop them into the list.
2) My devices are spread over a .25 lot- some in the main house, some in my garage/office.
3) If I'm traveling and my wife calls with an emergency, it is easier to manage the list centrally.
4) Not all non-computer devices have a user-friendly IP address entry interface, i.e. DVRs, DVD/Blu-Ray players, printers, etc...

My Win7 device will do other things in addition to DHCP. As most of our daily-use computers are Macs, I need a Windows machine for Windows-specific uses plus to act as an archive repository for older files.

All things (reliability, usability) being equal, being able to manage the device list from a simple .txt file is key for me.

I will check out the DHCP servers suggested.

Thanks!
Haj
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Author Comment

by:hsano6294
ID: 40458385
Sorry- that should say ".25 acre lot", not ".25 lot".
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Author Comment

by:hsano6294
ID: 40482265
Just a quick update guys. I wound up going with Open DHCP Server from Source Forge. It is one of the solutions Asif suggested. For my case- set up, transferring clients from Vicomsoft's DHCP server, features, and future expansion, it was the best solution. Thanks Asif!
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by:Asif Bacchus
ID: 40485440
Great that you found something that worked for your needs, glad I could be of some help :-)
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Author Comment

by:hsano6294
ID: 40485741
Thanks so much for your insights! I think the two hardest parts after evaluating the products for my needs was:
1) Converting the clients file, and
2) Setting the Win7 firewall settings.
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Author Comment

by:hsano6294
ID: 40636802
Asif, akb, and saku99, an interesting update. OpenDHCP worked great for about three weeks. Then about half of my devices started having IP address issues. The IP address request would be answered by the DHCP server with its registered IP address, but after less than a second, the device's IP address would change to 10.100.1.n, where n varied by device.

Over the last few months, I've poked around OpenDHCP whenever I've had time, which has not been as often as I'd like, and not found anything obvious. A couple of days ago, my Note 4, which is one of the devices having IP address problems, got its assigned IP address OK and was fine for almost a full day. Then it reverted to its 10.100.1.n address.

Interestingly enough, it seems to affect my WiFi devices that go in and out of the house a lot- smart phones, laptops, and tablets. My stationary devices- printers, DVRs, BluRay players, etc... don't seem to have these issues. It could be because they don't ever attach and detach from the network. I assigned static addresses to the laptops for now, but the smartphones and tablets don't allow that, so we've been using a lot of data on our data plans.

When I e-mailed the support address that was listed on the SourceForge site, the publisher wrote back that this was an obsolete product that they no longer supported.

Does anyone have any insight as to what is happening? I may have to try one of your other DHCP server suggestions if I can't figure it out.
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