Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

Windows 7: Even DHCP Can Be Improved

Windows 7: Even DHCP Can Be Improved

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image This just struck me as geeky-cool (a term I use far too often, but that’s because I thrive on geeky-cool things).  I just saw a blog post on the DHCP Team Blog about a new little improvement called “DHCP Network Hint” coming in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

“Wait a sec.. DHCP has been around for over a dozen years now.  Microsoft still has a TEAM of people working on DHCP?”

Yeah.. that part has me scratching my head as well.  It’s such a solid, taken-for-granted service that I couldn’t believe we’d have a need to change or improve it.  But sure enough, some smart people on the “team” (for all I know it’s just two guys) found a way to improve the connection experience when you’re bringing a wirelessly connected machine from one network to another.

Apparently, and by default, DHCP in Windows 7 (and Server 2008 R2) will be more “opportunistic” when it recognizes an SSID for a network that it’s used before. 

DHCP on wired stationary network connections has always done this thing where it says, “I already have an address lease, and it’s not expired, so I’m going to have a shorter conversation with the server to allow me to keep this address I already have".  That’s much more efficient than starting the whole request process over again.  Of course, for wireless connections, you always have to do the entire process; even if you’ve been on that network before and may have been able to lease an address that would not otherwise have expired.

“Ah!  So.. if my computer can remember where it’s been, and keep that lease information for multiple networks I regularly visit, then the connection time will improve?”

You got it.  And I think it’s geeky-cool.

Anyway.. that’s my long paraphrase of the DHCP Team’s post on their blog.  They also have posts describing how it works, and how to disable it if you want/need to.

  • I think it's cool that Microsoft still have people that sweat the small details!

  • I agree!

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