What is Dynamic DNS?

We spend hours every day surfing the internet and consuming information or services provided by networks, but have you ever wondered how domain names work? In this article, you will understand a little better how we can access a remote address, which is actually an IP address, through a understandable name (domain name) thanks to Dynamic DNS.

Everything in the network is based on protocols and IP addresses. As soon as we open the browser, the system requests a connection to a remote server, the source of which we do not know, to share data with us. This is done via the TCP/IP protocol. This protocol, or rather model, operates at different layers of the network, from accessing the environment at the hardware level to the way information reaches us through the desktop.

The IP is a number made up of 4 bytes or 32 bits each separated by periods that uniquely identifies a host on the network. Our computer, mobile or router have IP addresses, but the one that really interests us for this article is the public IP, that is, the IP that our router has (the one that allows us to exist on the Internet). This IP address can be of two types:

  • Static IP: account a machine has an IP associated with the connection in such a way that whenever it starts, it will be the same. This is the case of servers, since from an administration point of view it is much more convenient to always have the same address and a DNS constantly pointing to it.
  • Dynamic IP: the dynamic IP is the one that our home routers normally have, since they are supplied by the ISP provider that we have contracted (Orange, Vodafone, etc.) and that can change every time we start the router.

What is DDNS or Dynamic DNS?

We know that every machine has an IP, and now it is time to learn that internet services and hosts have an associated name called a domain. DNS (Domain Name System) will then be the mechanism responsible for translating that domain into the actual IP address we want to connect to. To perform this operation, our equipment must have a DNS, which by default will be configured to connect to a DNS database on our router.

Traditional DNS will have trouble resolving domain names whose associated IP has changed, causing the host to be unreachable for the duration of the changes propagation to the server. The solution to this problem is DDNS, DynDNS, Dynamic DNS or Dynamic Domain Name System. This system associates the domain with a dynamic IP so that it is always updated and accessible. The device connected to the dynamic DNS service will notify itself of its IP and thus domain name resolution will always be active.

How useful is Dynamic DNS for us?

Beyond the large Internet and service providers that have their own databases worldwide, Dynamic DNS can be very useful for individual users, small businesses, and even network administrators. In fact, a DynDNS can be used for any of these things:

  • Remote access to your PC from anywhere without needing to know the IP
  • Access to local or remote servers for administrators
  • Configuring a multimedia server, mail server, FPS or Samba in our home
  • Connecting to a specific surveillance camera system from a mobile phone

And you may wonder, isn’t it easier to have a static public IP and save us this step? Well, call your Internet provider, they will surely charge you a supplement for giving you (if they support it) this service, and even so, you will need a DNS to avoid spending all the time placing and leaking your IP.

Configuring Dynamic DNS on the router or modem

Now that we know what Dynamic DNS is, we can start learning how to set Dynamic DNS settings on our router.

  • First, access the router. For this you need to know the internal IP address. Then enter the router’s administration panel with the username and password.
  • Then go to the WAN section and there you will find the DDNS section. The location of this option is almost the same on all routers.
  • Use the provided option to enable the DDNS client. Here you can select a number of external DDNS services. We continue the process by choosing the classic No-IP to be more general.
  • Now go to the No-IP website and register as a user on the platform, then you will be in a user panel where we can create our Dynamic DNS. Here click on “Hostnames in use”.
  • In the new section, type the domain you want to create by choosing one of the extensions offered by No-IP (of course they will not be .com or .com.tr).
  • Return to your router by registering for the service with a username and password, and as soon as authentication occurs, Dynamic DNS will be enabled and running on the router.