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Dynamic DNS (DDNS) – Why use it?

Dynamic DNS (DDNS) is a DNS service that can be useful to many. It is an automatic method for updating IP addresses that saves you from having a banned IP address that you can’t use or a paid static IP address, that might be very expensive. 

The problem 

Suppose you are hosting an application, a site, or a service on your computer, and you do not have professional-grade internet. In that case, the chances are that you will have an IP address that will be auto-assigned by the Internet service provider (ISP). That address will auto-change over time, and you won’t be able to do more about it. 

The problem comes when you are providing a service to people over the internet. They have your IP address to connect to your server or a device. But the ISP changes it, and now they can’t reach it. You need to update it manually and suffer downtime. 

This could have been 100% evaded with Dynamic DNS (DDNS)!

What is DNS? 

Before examining Dynamic DNS and its benefits, let’s quickly see what DNS is. DNS – domain name system. It is the hierarchy organization that the internet uses for linking domain names and the hosts’ IP addresses. 

In short, it is the magic that converts the domain names that you are writing in your browsers to the IP addresses of those sites. That way, you don’t need to remember IP addresses like 173.194.37.84 or 66.94.230.32 and write Google.com or Yahoo.com in your browser. 

What is Dynamic DNS (DDNS)?

Dynamic DNS is a tech that auto-updates nameservers. It will refresh the DNS records (A and AAAA DNS records) when the IP of the host changes for any reason. 

The A and AAAA records are the one that connects the domain name with its IP address. The A is for IPv4 addresses and the AAAA for IPv6 ones. 

That way, people who want to connect to the host will get updated A or AAAA records, and they will be able to connect. 

The DDNS client continually checks for changes in the IP addresses. When the IP address changes, this triggers the DDNS to update. 

Benefits of DDNS

Easy to use. You need to set it up once, and then you are ready to go. In the case of IP cameras for surveillance, you will need to set up your router by going to settings and put the user and the password for your DDNS service. Done! 

Cheaper than static IPs. Yes, if you have many devices, it will be a lot cheaper to pay for one DDNS service than to pay for each static IP address. 

Keeps you online. As we mention, this will reduce downtime by auto-update the IP addresses, and the devices or services will keep been available through the net.

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Alternatives to DDNS

You have 2 alternatives to Dynamic DNS: 

Static IP address. In case you have just one device, a server, for example, you can go on with a single IP address. It gets massively expensive if you need more devices.

Manually change IP addresses. Maybe it is not mission-critical to have your device online always. If you can manually adjust its IP address by manually go and change the settings that that doesn’t bother you, go on. 

Conclusion

DDNS is an extremely useful tech. It can save you a lot of hustle and money. In some cases, it could be the only reasonable solution for a problem. Check it out if you need to provide services, or you want to connect many devices and use them over the internet (like CCTV cameras).

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