I'm at a small company of around 20 employees, and I'm looking for a small (and possibly cheap) hardware that can serve as a DHCP server. I was thinking of a Rasberry Pi, but I am open to any other options. The prerequisites for the piece of hardware I'm looking for is to just be able to handle DHCP and to be able to store the mapping of IP to MAC addresses as well as any other rules regarding DHCP I implement. And, of course, the OS that the hardware will require.

What do you recommend I buy or setup?

  • A single board computer like a Raspberry Pi is probably going to come with a lot more headaches and DIY effort than an actual networking product. Do you not want a router? Not even a proper commercial one with good DHCP management?
    – Romen
    Oct 21, 2022 at 14:28
  • @Romen the issue is that my network currently has 4 (commercial) routers, all running DHCP at once, so I don't know which device speaks to what router on getting an IP. I could disable DHCP on 3 of the routers, however I would prefer I setup another device running DHCP. Firstly, as a way to know exactly what DHCP server each device is speaking to and secondly to have a better DHCP than the one commercial servers use.
    – Costas M
    Oct 24, 2022 at 8:15
  • 1
    You definitely should have just one DHCP server on your network that has enough performance to handle everything (or maybe redundant DHCP servers that talk to each other). Just one of those 4 "commercial" routers probably has enough performance for 20 users though. Pick your favourite and just run the DHCP on that one. If you're missing some kind of functionality then clarify what that is in the question so we can recommend something that is sure to do it.
    – Romen
    Oct 24, 2022 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


This might be overkill, but using any old computer with two NICs you can have an entire gateway, including DHCP of course, for free [under 50 seats] with Sophos UTM. I'm adding links to download & signup because they make it really tough to find.

It uses 'the entire machine' & is itself the OS. Build it out of old stock or spares; mine's built on a 2007 intel Q6700 which has been running it for years with zero issues. It will also run in a VM, but I've never tried that. You need either a DVD drive for install or there are some unsupported 3rd party hacks to install from USB.
The free version includes licensing for almost all functionality of the hardware appliances, the downside is you don't get support other than peer to peer in the user groups.
Maintenance releases are frequent; errors, exec reports, backups [under 1MB] etc can be emailed to selected users.

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