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Difference Between BOOTP and RARP in Computer Networking

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  • Last Updated : 29 Apr, 2022
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A computer networking protocol helps the users to establish the rules for the data transmission between two users. The main purpose of the computer networking protocols like BOOTP and RARP is that they allow the users to have the ability to communicate with each other simultaneously without having any ambiguity of the structure and the architecture of the protocol. In this article, we are going to discuss BOOTP and RARP, and how both are different from each other. 


Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) is the latest version of the Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) and the previous version of the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Server) protocol. Bootstrap Protocol is a TCP/IP technology-based protocol which allows the user or a client to find and locate the IP address of a file or website and the load from the server machine which is connected to the network. The Bootstrap Protocol does allow the users to configure the temporary IP addresses of the server machine. When a new device on the network gets connected to the service, the host machine requests the IP address of the new device connected to the network. The Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) is automatically configured by the host machine to provide the IP addresses as compared to the DHCP protocol.


Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) is a type of internet protocol that is used by the client machine to deal with the Internet Protocol address (IPv4) which asks the server for gateway router protocol and the request for the connection in the local area network (LAN) gets accepted by the host machine. A table in the gateway router of the host machine is created by the administrator of the network which grants the user with the access to the creating of new IP address of the machine and linking it to its MAC address of the same machine. It is most popularly known as the network layer protocol which deals with the configuration and mapping of a device with the IP address and the MAC address of the same device.

Differences between BOOTP and RARP:

1. BOOTP stands for Bootstrap Protocol. RARP stands for Reverse Address Resolution Protocol. 
2. It is the latest version as compared to RARP. It is the older version of the internet protocol.
3. Manual configuration of MAC addresses is not required. It requires the manual configuration of MAC addresses with the IP addresses on the server.
4. It transfers the IP address along with the bootstrap info to the server. It is only able to transfer the IP addresses only.
5. It uses static routers which are more stable and secure. It uses dynamically discovered routers which are very unstable and risky.
6. The host can remain connected to any layer of the network.  It requires the host to be connected to a Layer 3 device on the network.
7. We can configure and change the settings of the protocol from any device connected to the network. We have to use a centrally connected device to change the configurations of the network in the RARP protocol.
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