When I first began learning about networking basics and how everything worked, I really struggled. At the time, I did not understand what a MAC address was. I kept hearing the term but I could not find MAC address to save my life! Well, I finally figured out that a MAC address is to hardware, what your home is to the postal service. It’s a physical address.
DHCP stands for “Dynamic Host Control Protocol”. Before you freak out, let’s break it down. Dynamic means that it does something dynamically (automatically). Host means it is intended to work on a host computer (such as your router). And Control Protocol means that it controls some type of protocol. Basically, it controls IP addresses automatically.
An IP address basically has two components. The first component is the Network ID, which identifies the network that the computer is connected to. The second component is the Host ID which identifies a specific computer within a network. Unlike a MAC address which is a physical hardware address, an IP address is a logical address.