I stumbled upon Namecheap’s free DYNDNS service this morning, and I couldn’t be more impressed.

All I did was buy a 0.66-cent domain.

Using Namecheap

namecheap domain name

Enabled the Dynamic DNS in the Advanced DNS settings:

dynamic dns

Then added the client to my home media server:

Windows: Direct Update
Mac: NC DNS Updater, IP Monitor
Unix: DDClient, IPCheck
Other: Java Dynamic DNS Client, IPCheck for OS/2

I was never a fan of DYNDNS or NO IP for some reason, I loved DuckDNS, but I was looking for something cleaner. This is the perfect solution to use with my home media server/file server.

What is DYNDNS?

DYNDNS or, in full, dynamic domain name system is the method used to automatically update Internet domain names to IP addresses, which provides access to your computer from any part of the world. What DYNDNS does is that it let a web host advertise a public name to prospective users. Unlike Internet DNS that works with static IP addresses, DYNDNS is designed to support changing IP addresses. For this reason, they are suitable for home networks because home works frequently receive dynamic IP addresses from their respective Internet service providers.

The working of dynamic DYNDNS

To start using DYNDNS, you need to register with a DYNDNS service provider to offer you the required software, which you will install in the host computer, which will be used as the server. Like the server, the host computer also updates dynamic DNS when users reach it for server requests.

Basically, what the installed software does is that it continually checks the dynamic IP addresses provided by your Internet service provider. Since these addresses change from time to time, this software alerts the dynamic DNS service every time there is a change that updates your server account with the new IP address.

As long as the DYNDNS software runs continuously, it keeps directing visitors to your host computer irrespective of the number of times the IP address changes.

A DynDNS is not required in instances where the network in use has a static IP address. This is because the domain name doesn’t have to know anything else about the IP address after it registers. This is because static addresses don’t actually change, and so a DYNDNS becomes unnecessary.

Where to get a DYNDNS service

Now that you know what a DYNDNS is and how it’s used, the question about where to get it remains. There are various dynamic DNS service providers online who will provide you with a free DYNDNS service that supports any operating system your computer could be running on either Mac, Windows, or Linux. Some of the common DYNDNS available online include Dyne, NoIP, and FreeDNS. However, free dynamic DNS has a shortcoming in the sense that you are given a limited number of domains to choose from. This means that you cannot select any URL and have it automatically directed to your server.

A free dynamic DNS happens when you pick any hostname that will have to be combined with the free domain options given to form a complete DDNS URL. For instance, if you come up with the domain name hostwebber.org and the options provided are ozorp.org or qwipy.org, your DynDNS URL will be hostwebber.ozorp.org.

All in all, free options serve the required purpose, but paid options are better for they offer you unlimited serves, whereby all the restrictions in the free version are lifted. This way, you can operate freely as you would personally prefer without limitations. You can get your paid DYNDNS services from Dyn, and for more support on DYNDNS, you can check out Google domains.