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The Internet The Almighty Buck

Dynamic DNS - The Good, The Bad and The Cheap? 89

flyman asks: "I recently was 'downsized' from a company, and have had to really cut back on expenses. One of those cut-backs was to cancel my business class DSL with static IPs. I have since signed up for standard Cable Internet, which only has dynamic IPs. I know there are several DDNS providers out there, but which ones are good? Easy to use? Free or cheap? I still want to host some dev sites from home, if possible. Any advice would be appreciated."
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Dynamic DNS - The Good, The Bad and The Cheap?

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  • dyndns.org (Score:5, Informative)

    by mind21_98 ( 18647 ) on Saturday September 25, 2004 @08:59PM (#10352079) Homepage Journal
    I would try dyndns.org [dyndns.org]. Your first five hostnames are free. :)
    • Re:dyndns.org (Score:4, Informative)

      by mattboston ( 537016 ) on Saturday September 25, 2004 @10:33PM (#10352609) Homepage
      this is probably the best. and you can also do static IP, backup mail, mail relaying(for those using Comcast Cable, they will relay for you), and a bunch of other services. they also have lots of free DynDNS client programs to automatically update your IP, and a great developer area for those interested in developing DynDNS applications
    • Re:dyndns.org (Score:5, Informative)

      by Curtman ( 556920 ) on Saturday September 25, 2004 @10:50PM (#10352682)
      Absolutely. I've been using dyndns forever it seems. They also have a great service called webhop [dyndns.org] that lets you redirect from a dyndns hostname or one of your own if you've registered one, to those ugly isp provided webstorage addresses like http://members.myisp.com/~someuser/, so you can access that page from http://someuser.mine.nu or whatever domain you choose.

      Summary, DynDNS rocks. Reward them with your business if you ever get the opportunity. They deserve it. (And no I don't work for them ;)
      • Why don't they (dyndns.org) do hosting? It would be much more convenient to pay one supplier for everything, and hosting companies often seem to bundle hosting & registration together. If running server farms isn't their business (no, I didn't see a sign when I drove in), they could surely make a deal to act as a reseller for someone else. I for one wouldn't begrudge them their cut.

        Another thing, is it possible (or advisable) to mix static & dynamic content by having, say www.myname.com conventio

    • This is who I use as well. I've been using them for at least three years, probably more, without a single hiccup.
    • Re:dyndns.org (Score:3, Informative)

      I second the nomination for dyndns.org - top notch.

      I would call them the defacto-standard in dynamic dns because they are so widely supported by clients built into most residential broadband routers.

      Also, smoothwall knows DynDns - so that works peachy for me.
    • Re:dyndns.org (Score:3, Informative)

      by rjch ( 544288 )
      Seconded, thirded, fourthed and fifthed... I've been using dyndns.org for several years and have almost never had a problem with them - any time I have had a problem, it's because my auto-updater stopped working without me knowing.

      Added to this, nowadays dyndns.org is running so many value-added services, they really can become your one stop shop for DNS services, although they will not let you delegate subdomains. All subdomains (if you set it that way) get diverted to the same IP address.

    • I agree. I paid for their custom dyndns service several years ago, which was a one-time $30 donation to their company and received free life-time (of me or the company, I wonder) custom dyndns.

      Granted, I never used it for high traffic things, but running my own email and webserver I never noticed any issues, with services provided at random times of the day and night. My guess, then, is that they have a pretty good stability/uptime record.

      What it comes down to, though, is that they've been around for
  • http://www.dyndns.org/

    It's free, the interface is easy to use, lots of routers have clients built in. Gives you a hostname like yourname.dyndns.org. That's probably your best bet.
  • Dyndns.org (Score:1, Informative)

    by Toxygen ( 738180 )
    Although I'm not running anything exceptional, I've been using these guys for years and have never had any problems. They offer a wide range of host names and you can get your address in a mynamehere.dyndnsnamehere.com format. They also provide links to 3rd party software which will automatically update your dynamic ip address to the hostname in their database every time you log on to the net, turn your computer on, or if you're always online (probably) they can simply check the hostname every so often an
  • We . . . (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Most cable internet providers provide a more or less static IP address. Technically they aren't, but my IP address hasn't changed in at least seven months. With DNS updates occuring every five minutes now (rather than every twelve hours), you should be able to easily keep things up to date. With that in mind, I would probably not worry to much about which service you go with, as long as they aren't likely to shut down any time soon. Or, better, find a friend who has their own DNS server and won't mind updat
    • Good point. Also, if you're running a stable server -which should always be a separate machine without the latest bells and whistles- (or better yet, an independent inet proxy/firewall), you can just leave it running indefinitely. As long as you don't reboot, you're not getting a new IP. Whenever you're going down for maintenance, just change your zone files once you're done, the updates are pretty fast nowadays.

      dyndns.org is a decent site for actual dynamic IP machines; you can even buy a 'real' domain n
      • Actually, put the crappiest most unstable computer behind a router/firewall, and it'll keep it's IP address until there is a power shortage... you can even DMZ the server to make sure it's fully accessible...

        our DHCP lease on our cable modem is 7 days, so unless I'm on vacation and my power goes out, or the DHCP server loses power, I'm good to go!

      • As long as you don't reboot, you're not getting a new IP
        Alternatively you could run a small cheap hardware router (my DSL modem has one built in), keep it on a UPS, and hope your IP never changes. A friend of mine did that for a year or two with minimal disruption, but if it changes (as another poster noted, it could change arbitrarily when the cable company feels like resetting things) when you're away, you're dead in the water...
  • DynDNS.org (Score:5, Informative)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Saturday September 25, 2004 @09:04PM (#10352107)
    Go with DynDNS.org [dyndns.org]. Most popular, and best supported among various clients. LinkSys routers even come with support to update DynDNS.org right in the official firmware.

    They have a variety of domains you can choose from; I chose ath.cx simply because it's very short.
    • Go with DynDNS.org. Most popular, and best supported among various clients. LinkSys routers even come with support to update DynDNS.org right in the official firmware.

      I know netgear routers have had dyndns.org support for years but Linksys?

      • Yes, I believe so.

        However, I'm using a custom firmware at the moment so I can't confirm. I'm pretty sure the original supported DynDNS.org though.
    • Remember the uproar on /. several months ago about their use of GPLd code - they use EZ-IPUpdate. I remember since their Flash updates included a couple of my patches :)
      • Yes, but IIRC LinkSys resolved this by complying with the GPL and releasing the complete source to their entire firmware, unlike the reaction of some other companies.

        In fact, the custom (SveaSoft or other) firmwares are not complete re-implementations, they are modifications of the existing firmware.

        LinkSys has, if they wanted to or not, set themselves up as having one of the most flexible series of consumer hardware routers out there.
  • dnsart [dnsart.com] if you dont mind paying $40 a year..
  • Some dynamic DNS providers don't allow CNAME records, which is what you'll be using if you want your own domains to point to your dynamic DNS domain name. ie, your users type http://www.example.com, and www.example.com is a CNAME pointing to example-dyndns.example.net or whatever.

    Just an issue to be aware of.
    • I'm not sure how this would be an issue, since CNAME records at the domain name's (example.com) nameservers should be able to point to yourname.dyndns.org with no problem, regardless of what kinds of records the dynamic DNS service offers (or doesn't offer).
      • It's technically feasible, even easy. But as a matter of policy, I remember some places saying the didn't want you doing it. I haven't been able to find anyone saying anything about it now.
  • I use it, it rocks
    http://zoneedit.com/ [zoneedit.com]

    I had a dynamic ip on a cable modem but for some reason my freebsd box that firewalled my lan never changed ip's. I was never brave enough to run apache, postfix and bind 9 on it so I let zoneedit do the dns for me. If your ip stays the same over a long period of time, that might be an option for you. Of course your mileage may vary your head my explode or the feds may bust down your door for breaking the acceptable use policy. Then again you probably already breaki
    • You also get to use your own domain names with zoneedit. Which is always nice. And there are several programs around to update the IP zoneedit has for your account automatically if your IP changes, just like for dyndns.
  • By google [google.com].

  • Watch your AUP/TOS (Score:4, Informative)

    by boredMDer ( 640516 ) <pmohr+slashdot@boredmder.com> on Saturday September 25, 2004 @09:14PM (#10352166)
    Given, most providers don't do anything to actively find these things, but a thought anyway -

    Most ISPs prohibit servers in their AUP/TOS/whatever.

    You could face disconnection if you're caught running one (or more). Unlikely, but possible.
  • Priorities? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    When I was laid off, my first priorities were making sure I could pay for food and rent. But to each his own, I guess.
    • My second priority would be trying to find a job. Or a temporary consulting gig. If your gig is doing web backend stuff, then it's nice to be able to keep up your skills on your home box, and also use that as a demo platform.
  • go with Freedns.afraid.org [afraid.org]. They support dynamic domains and also give you a great deal more control than dyndns.org. I use them to host a couple of domains on my cable connection and have had nothing but good luck. Best part is, it's free (but donations are graciously accepted of course).
  • I like no-ip.com (Score:4, Informative)

    by phammann ( 459799 ) on Saturday September 25, 2004 @09:23PM (#10352213)
    I just recently got ddns service from http://www.no-ip.com/ [no-ip.com]. They've got a number of different levels of service starting with free. They appear to be a stable company with a good business model. They've got Linux, Windows, and Mac clients for download. I run FreeBSD which has a port of their linux client in /usr/ports/dns/noip.
    • I second that. I've been using no-ip for 2 years for domain registration, dynamic DNS and mail backup. Not even a whiff of a problem in all that time, nor even in the time before that when I was using their free service.
    • another vote for no-ip

      their changes are QUICK !
      you have control over your own A records and MX records
      good stuff, never any problems. (nice client too)
    • Yeah, I've been using no-ip for a while for SSH. They offer many options, basic is just free and you can also purchase a domain. There Linux client is excellent.
  • by stoborrobots ( 577882 ) on Saturday September 25, 2004 @09:24PM (#10352218)
    Well EveryDNS [everydns.net] is a DNS hosting service which also offers dynamic addresses... It's really been great, I've been with them for the last three years without problems...

    • "used to be a theoretical physicist, a mathematician, IT consultant, programmer, data miner"

      in what order, reverse chron?
      and what prompted those transitions?
      • forward chron...

        Undergrad - BSc Theoretical Physics
        Honours - Mathematics (Pure)
        Paying my way thru uni - IT Consultant
        Job after uni - Programmer
        Schmooze the boss and become - data miner
        Give it all up and go back to Uni for - MEngSc Mechatronic Eng.

        (It's just begging for a
        ???
        Profit! )

        As for what prompted them - I'm a widely interested person. I'm deeply interested in a large number of techincal fields from Physical sciences to Life sciences, electronics, mechanisms, computer systems and software, artificia
  • afraid.org (Score:4, Informative)

    by voisine ( 153062 ) on Saturday September 25, 2004 @09:26PM (#10352236)
    afraid.org

    fast, stable, free, powered by bsd, change your dns records from a script with a call to wget.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A few years back, I went with them to get an email domain. IIRC, DynDNS didn't offer those services at the time, or they were more expensive than Nikhilino. My mistake.

    I kept having billing problems with them. On the last billing, I had a pile of trouble with them over cashier's checks. They actually *didn't* want a check in their business name, but in a person's name.

    Something stunk about that one.

    I went to DynDNS, and never looked back.
  • I have used hn.org in the past, and it works very well. For $5/hostname/year, DHS.org will do the same, and they are also reliable.
  • My cable provider actually does have a domain name for each customer -- it's a really long string of letters and numbers appended to the ISP's domain. Their DNS servers won't reverse-resolve your IP to its name, but external DNS's will.

    If your cable ISP is doing the same, just do what I did -- I setup an alias of the name I wanted to this static customer host and domain name the ISP assigns (and tries to hide).

    The benefit of this is that if anyone tries to do a reverse-resolve against your IP, they'll ge

  • ZoneEdit Dynamic (Score:2, Informative)

    by kroniq ( 226738 )
    ZoneEdit has free dynamic DNS (for up to 5 domains).

    Great thing is, it doesn't need a client. A simple wget works:

    wget -O - --http-user=username --http-passwd=password 'http://dynamic.zoneedit.com/auth/dynamic.html?hos t=www.mydomain.com'

    More details: http://www.zoneedit.com/doc/dynamic.html [zoneedit.com]
    • wget -O - --http-user=username --http-passwd=password 'http://dynamic.zoneedit.com/auth/dynamic.html?hos t=www.mydomain.com'

      Great... now I can change the DNS for mydomain.com! Let's login is username, and the password is password... clickity click...
  • Static IP's are only an extra $5 a month and there is always more honor in going with the underdog.
  • They're pretty cool. The dynamic DNS is free and doesn't have any ads, they've also got url redirection, but that has ads and isn't as good.

    Also free webmail.

    There might be popups but I've never seen them I use firefox.
  • I have used CJB.net for years and haven't had a problem. It's free and has DNS entry update software for a variety of platforms in a variety of languages. http://www.cjb.net
  • If you've still got a bit of budget left, then you might want to look into one of the companies providing v-server or user-mode linux hosting (some are as low as $5 - $10 a month). This gives you a full virtual linux box with static ip, that you can set up your own dns / web redirector, etc. That plus cable modem is still cheaper than a business class dsl.
  • A lot of cable providers do things like say 'no servers' in their terms of service and also block port 80 which makes running your own server really annoying. There are some very nice low cost hosting services that make the hassle of dynamic dns not worth it even if your are on a very tight budget.

    I use phpwebhosting.com which is $10/mo. I'm very satisfied with it.

  • DHS (Score:2, Informative)

    by BRTB ( 30272 )
    I'd have to recommend DHS [dhs.org]. Very reliable, they've mentioned outages on their site a few times but I never notice them. And they've been around forever... way back when Monolith (remember ml.org anybody?) went under, a few of the guys who worked for/supported ML created their own, and DHS was born.
  • by Judg3 ( 88435 ) <jeremy.pavleck@com> on Saturday September 25, 2004 @10:58PM (#10352715) Homepage Journal
    ZoneEdit [zoneedit.com] is great if you own your own domain. If it offers the full gambit of DNS services, from setting up a round-robim, editing your A, MX and CNAMES to setting up web and mail forwarding. Best part it's free - up to 5 domains if I remember correctly.
    And if you ever find your own DNS, you can also let ZoneEdit act as a slave zone as well - I highly recommend it.
    • ZoneEdit runs a gamut when it updates DNS records
      You ran a gambit when you posted

      http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=gamut
      # A complete range or extent

      http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=gambit
      # A maneuver, stratagem, or ploy, especially one used at an initial stage.
      # A remark intended to open a conversation.

      Subject footnote: http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/therockyhorrorpictu reshow/dammitjanet.htm
  • If you want to host a domain or a subdomain. From what I understand (see Dynamic DNS Providers List [technopagan.org]), the oft-recommended dyndns.org only does the latter for free.

    I wanted an actual domain and have been a happy camper with zoneedit for over a year (notwithstanding their revolting choice of OS [netcraft.com]).

  • I recommend zoneedit [zoneedit.com] to all my clients, since it offers full DNS functionality, as well as mail forwarding etc. You can easily turn any domain or sub domain into a dynamic domain, and their control panel is easy-as-pants to use.
  • and have had to really cut back on expenses

    Well, atleast we can all keep things in perspective when really cutting back means suffering with cable internet! I feel for you!

  • http://www.fdns.net/ [fdns.net]

    Fast and free. I've never seen an outage in the years I've been using it. At only 921 users, it's pretty small, but that's nice. You can update via a URL so you can just call wget from a script. They allow you to either have them host the DNS (yourname.fdns.net has an A record that points to the address you specify) or you can host the DNS yourself and do subdomains. (yourname.fdns.net delegates to your DNS server)

  • at the risk of getting flamed, there are alot of hosting solutions that are like a few dollars a month, and will give you php/mysql/cgi, etc. i have cable, comcast to be exact, and the download speeds are feakin unvbelievable. i get 350-400K. but, uploads are for shit. which kinda renders serious hosting useless. and if you're just usign it for yourself for remote X, vpn shit, and ftp'ing, etc., just ipconfig the ip address, and if you don't reboot, it ain't gonna change, so use the ip address rather t
    • at the risk of getting flamed, there are alot of hosting solutions that are like a few dollars a month, and will give you php/mysql/cgi, etc.

      Yeah but will they host my 2 gig mysql database (plus a couple gigs of text files which sit around while I'm importing them into the database)? Do they have the beta version of mysql running, complete with GIS support? Is the traffic really unlimited, or will they shut things off when I transfer over 10 gigs a week? Do they use ntpd, or do I have to rewrite my ph

      • i agree that cheap hosting isn't going to do that, but he is replacing busniess class dsl with regular cable. download speed will be the same( maybe better), but his uploads will be for shit. you can't do any serious hosting with 128k up. his cable company i'm sure would love to sell him a static ip, and sell him more upload speed. but tht gets expensive.
      • Get a VDS (virtual dedicated server.)

        You get root on your own "box" which is really just a partition of a larger server. You can install and maintain any version of whatever software you want. It's much cheaper than renting a whole dedicated server, but you get all the benefits. You can do whatever you want on your server because it's all virtualized, so the only restrictions in place are the amount of HD space, amount of bandwidth, and amount of RAM. Thrash it as hard as you want within those boundari
        • Hey, thanks, I'll probably give them a try. I've used a virtual dedicated server before, but I was paying about $80/month for it so it had to go.

          And yeah, I knew about there being no such thing as "unlimited traffic". That's why I'm so skeptical about any place which makes that claim. If it were rate limited to 1Mbit that'd probably be fine, but more often I've found that their terms of service don't allow hosting of large databases and they'll shut me off long before I get to that 50 gig/month transfe

  • I've been using afraid.org for about a year. Free dynamic DNS under a plethora of different domains - or you can bring your own.

    Setup was quick, and I've never had any problems with it.

    Supposedly, it's run by some sort of wacko DNS junkie.

  • EasyDNS (Score:4, Informative)

    by toolz ( 2119 ) on Sunday September 26, 2004 @01:40AM (#10353323) Homepage Journal
    I have had excellent experiences with http://easydns.com/ [easydns.com].

    Not only do they offer just about any DNS-related service you can think of (including dynamic DNS, using standard clients for any OS), but also provide fall-back mail spooling, great management tools, convenient and honest domain registration and EXCELLENT customer service.

    I have been using their services since 1999, and can honestly say that despite EasyDNS not being priced quite as low as some other services, I prefer the convenience, great service, features and peace of mind to saving a few bucks.
    • Re:EasyDNS (Score:2, Informative)

      by a9db0 ( 31053 )
      I'll second this recomendation, as I have used them for 3-4 years. They provide full DNS services, so bring your own domain name. They give full control over MX records, and will do email forwarding for you if you like. They don't supply update clients, but do have links to several that users report work well. (ezipupdate [ez-ipupdate.com] works nicely on linux). Service is excellent.
  • I have been using DNSMadeEasy http://www.dnsmadeeasy.com/ [dnsmadeeasy.com] for several years. I also use DirectUpdate http://www.directupdate.net/ [directupdate.net] to modify the dynamic records automatically.

    DNSME has a free account using one of their domains, but for $5/yr you can host update to 5 of your own domains. You can update up to every 5 seconds depending on account type. They also have a referral program.

    This combination works great and is (almost) free. DNSMadeEasy supports updates via HTTP/SSL for security and there are
  • No-ip.com have clients for various achitectures, and is _very_ reliable (never had a single problem in maybe 3 years). Plus their clients are well thought, for example for windows you have a graphical app you can use to configure things that can go in your traybar, but you can also just run it at a service once it is configured and forget about it. No desktop clutter, nag or whatever.
  • Does any one there own personal Dynamic DNS servers.

    I have DNS server that I control with there own static block. How hard is it to roll your own Dynamic DNS?

    It would nice to get running on Windows2000 and Linux.

    any suggestions?
  • I use afraid.org [afraid.org] as my free DNS provider.
    I don't host a high-volume site, just a vanity domain for the usual email and blog, but I haven't had a problem with them yet.
    You can also, if you don't want to register your own domain, "piggy-back" on some of the domains they hold, and if you submit your domain to them, then there's the option to let others use your domain - for instance someone-else.mydomain.com - where you own mydomain.com
    Kai
  • If you have your own domain(s), then go with Zoneedit. First 5 domains are free, and they provide a whole lot more services than just dynamic DNS (mail forwarding, web forwarding, ...etc.). Have been using it for years, and they are great.

    If you don't have your own domains(s), then DynDNS is your friend. I have used it and recommended it to friends.

  • Domain Direct [domaindirect.com] (a division of Tucows) has served me very well for many years. They don't have a method for automated changing of your records when your IP address changes (you have to log in and do it manually - a big deal on some ISPs, but not on mine where my dynamic IP changes maybe once or twice a year), but they do allow almost complete control over A records, CNAMEs, and MX records, and do simple redirection as well.

    And their servers are very reliable.

  • I'm a little late on this thread, but zoneedit.com has worked for me for multiple domain names and subnets...

    lately their page seems to have a bug where to login you need to edit the Login link to go to zoneEdit.com instead of zoneDit.com
  • You could always ditch your cable modem and use Speakeasy.net's onelink service. Onelink is a DSL service which doesn't need an extra phone line. Various packages come with a static IP which would help you, and their policy allows for servers from what I remember. 2 static ip's for $65.95 more info here: http://www.speakeasy.net/residential/onelink/pack a ge?speed=15256&service=plus I suppose that if you used this, you could save more money by running VoIP through your DSL line. I don't work for them,

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