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Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP)

  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 30 Sep, 2021

Overview :
In this article, we will discuss the bootstrapping protocol and how it plays its important role in maintaining the protocol between connected devices on a network. Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) is a networking protocol which is used by networking administration to give IP addresses to each member of that network for participating with other networking devices by the main server.

Important Features of Bootstrap Protocol :
Here, we will discuss the features of Bootstrap Protocol as follows.

  • Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) is a basic protocol that automatically provides each participant in a network connection with a unique IP address for identification and authentication as soon as it connects to the network. This helps the server to speed up data transfers and connection requests.
  • BOOTP uses a unique IP address algorithm to provide each system on the network with a completely different IP address in a fraction of a second.
  • This shortens the connection time between the server and the client. It starts the process of downloading and updating the source code even with very little information.
  • BOOTP uses a combination of DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol) to request and receive requests from various network-connected participants and to handle their responses.
  • In a BOOTP connection, the server and client just need an IP address and a gateway address to establish a successful connection. Typically, in a BOOTP network, the server and client share the same LAN, and the routers used in the network must support BOOTP bridging.
  • A great example of a network with a TCP / IP configuration is the Bootstrap Protocol network. Whenever a computer on the network asks for a specific request to the server, BOOTP uses its unique IP address to quickly resolve them.

How Bootstrap Protocol differs from DHCP :
DHCP network servers have much broader use than a BOOTP network server. It may be used for the purpose when a user gives request to the server for a particular IP address and it gives the response of that particular IP address only, hence, time is not wasted for monitoring other addresses. BOOTP uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol) through an IPv4 address connection to identify and authenticate each network user. Also, a BOOTP connection has a stable static database of IP addresses which serves the client immediately with the required IP address.

Working of Bootstrap Protocol :
Here, we will discuss the Working steps of Bootstrap Protocol as follows.

  • At the very beginning, each network participant does not have an IP address. The network administrator then provides each host on the network with a unique IP address using the IPv4 protocol.
  • The client installs the BOOTP network protocol using TCP / IP Intervention on its computer system to ensure compatibility with all network protocols when connected to this network.
  • The BOOTP network administrator then sends a message that contains a valid unicast address. This unicast address is then forwarded to the BOOTP client by the master server.

Uses of Bootstrap Protocol :
Here, we will discuss the uses of Bootstrap Protocol as follows.

  1. Bootstrap (BOOTP) is primarily required to check the system on a network the first time you start your computer. Records the BIOS cycle of each computer on the network to allow the computer’s motherboard and network manager to efficiently organize the data transfer on the computer as soon as it boots up.
  2. BOOTP is mainly used in a diskless environment and requires no media as all data is stored in the network cloud for efficient use.
  3. BOOTP is the transfer of a data between a client and a server to send and receive requests and corresponding responses by the networking server.
  4. BOOTP supports the use of motherboards and network managers, so no external storage outside of the cloud network is required.

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