How to Set Up DHCP to Provide a Proxy Server

All Windows Server operating systems support Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) that businesses can use to assign IP addresses to computers on the company network automatically. DHCP lets network administrators add systems to the network quickly, without having to configure IP address and gateway information manually. In addition to assigning IP addresses, you can also configure DHCP to provide connection details to computers on the network if your company uses a proxy server to filter and serve Web traffic between the local network and the Internet. By creating predefined options and values in the DHCP settings, browsers on network computers connect to the Internet using proxy server settings specified by the administrator on the Windows Server machine.

Configure Server

    1. Click “Start,” then click “Server Manager” on the server computer. Click the “Add roles” link in the Roles Summary section of the Server Manager window. Click “Next” on the Before You Begin page.
    2. Click and enable the “DHCP Server” and “DNS Server” options, then click “Next.” Click “Install” on the “Confirm Installation Options” page to complete installation of the server roles.
    3. Click “DHCP Server” under the Roles header in the left pane of the Server Manager window. Click the “Preferences” link in the DHCP Server pane.

  1. Click the “DHCP Scopes” tab, then click “Add.” The Add Scope window appears. Type a descriptive name for the scope in the Scope Name field. Enter the starting IP address you want to use for workstation computers on the network in the “Starting IP Address” field. Enter a starting address in the “192.168.X.X” range. In most cases, entering “” or “” works well for networks with less than 50 computers. Click the “OK” button to save the DNS server changes.
  2. Enter the ending IP address for the network in the “Ending IP Address” field. Ensure that the number of IP addresses between the starting and ending values is sufficient to assign IP numbers to all computers connected to the Windows Server computer via the local area network.
  3. Enter “” in the “Subnet Mask” field. Enter the IP address of the network adapter in the server computer in the “Default Gateway (optional)” field. Click “OK.”
  4. Click the “DNS Server” link in the Roles section of the Server Manager window. Enter the fully qualified domain name of the Windows Server in the “Parent Domain” field.
  5. Enter IP addresses “Preferred DNS Server IPv4 Address” and “Alternate DNS Server IPv4 Address” fields. Enter values using the same “192.168.X.X” range used for the DHCP server, but enter values lower than the starting IP address assigned to workstation computers. For example, if you entered a starting value of “” in the DHCP configuration page, enter values such as “” and “” in the preferred and alternate DNS server IP address fields.
  6. Right-click the “DHCP Server” link in the Roles section of the Server Manager window, then click “Properties” on the pop-up menu. Click the “Predefined Options” tab.
  7. Click the “Add” button on the Predefined Options tab. A new Predefined Options and Values window appears. Enter the IP address of the proxy server to which you want workstation computers to use when connecting to the Internet. Enter the IP address in the “” where “” is the IP address of the proxy server and “8080” is the port number needed to access the server. Click “OK” to save the proxy server setting changes.
  8. Right-click the “DNS Server” link in the Roles area, then click “Start” on the pop-up list. Start the “DHCP Server” using the same method.

    Connect to the DHCP Server from Workstation Computers


    Power off one of the computers connected to the Windows Server computer via the router or switch, then restart it. After the computer restarts, it receives a dynamic IP address from the Windows Server computer.


    Launch a Web browser on the workstation computer. Click “Tools” or “Options” on the menu bar, then select “Internet Options” or “Preferences.”


    Select the “Configure Proxy Settings Automatically,” “Detect Proxy Settings Automatically” or other similar option. Click “Apply,” then “OK” to save the proxy server settings for the browser.


    Restart the browser and surf the Internet as you normally would. The browser uses the proxy server settings defined in the DHCP settings on the Window Server computer.


    Configure the browsers on other workstation computers in the same way, as needed.

    Things Needed

    • Windows 2003 or 2008 Server computer
    • Windows 7, Vista or XP workstation computers


    • If you are using a router to connect workstation computers to the Windows Server computer, ensure that you disable the DHCP service for the router. To do this, log in to the router control panel page and disable the DHCP Server function in the Advanced Settings or Router Preferences area.