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DHCP Service at MIT

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The DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) Service lets you connect your computer via Ethernet to MITnet from a variety of sites on campus without reconfiguring your computer's network settings each time you move it to a new location.

MIT faculty, staff and students are eligible to use this service, as well as MIT visitors who are granted 14 days of access during a 12-month period, in increments of 1 - 5 days per visit.


To register your device for DHCP service, you will need an Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC).

The ethernet card can be integrated (built-in) to your laptop, or be installed after purchase, according the manufacturer's instructions. If your computer has both an ethernet and wireless card, you can use both interfaces depending on your location and service availability. All dorms and academic buildings are part of both the wired and wireless networks, however only the ethernet card in your machine will need to be registered individually for DHCP service.


There are two options. See Guidelines for DHCP registration before choosing an option.

Option A: Register with a static IP address (students, faculty and staff)

When you register your machine an IP address is assigned by IS&T. If you do not have a unique static IP address and you are faculty or staff, request one using this form. Students using machines in their dorms should fill out a request for an IP/hostname from the RCC Home Page

You will need to have a personal MIT certificate on the computer you are registering.

  1. Configure for a TCP/IP Ethernet Connection (e.g., enter your static IP address):
    Be sure to configure your machine to use a specific, assigned IP address. For instructions on how to configure, see Mac OS X or Windows.
  2. Register for DHCP Service:
    IP addresses are assigned to a subnet, which normally corresponds to a building. You must be in the campus location where your machine's unique IP address is assigned. You need to submit the DHCP registration form from the device that you are registering for DHCP service. Turn on your computer and connect to the network in your home subnet, then go to Dynamic Host Configuration at MIT.
  3. Configure your computer for DHCP or Wireless connection.

Note: If you have two network interfaces on your computer, for example on a laptop with both wired and wireless network interfaces, please use Option B below to register the second interface for DHCP.

Option B: Register without an IP address (faculty, staff, students, and guests)

Note: Faculty and staff should use this only for their secondary devices they use on MITnet.

  1. Start up your computer:
  2. Connect your laptop to an ethernet drop and turn it on.
  3. Make sure your computer is set to obtain an IP address automatically.
  4. Launch your web browser.
    Result: The Welcome page with the MIT dome displays.
  5. Click on your status type, e.g., Staff.
    Result: A Registering Your Computer page displays, depending on your status at MIT (staff, student, visitor).
  6. Read the instructions, then click Register.
    Result: For Faculty, Staff, and Students, a Login page appears; Visitors will see a Registration form.
  7. Fill in the requested information, then click Register.
    Result: The Registration successfully completed page displays.

It will take approximately 15-30 minutes for the process to complete. Make sure you clear out your browser cache before attempting to connect via DHCP.

Test your connection by visiting both an internal website ( and an external site (

Getting Help

If you experience any difficulties registering for DHCP Service, contact the IS&T Help Desk.

Related Links

Network/Connectivity at MIT
Get Connected to MITnet Help Wizard

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

August 12, 2014

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