Configure and Use Dynamic DNS

DNS

DNS or Domain Name lookup Service provides the mapping between internet addresses such as 22.43.68.133 to a human readable (and memorable) address (known as URL) such as www.apple.com. Without a DNS service it will be difficult for us to remember all the internet server addresses that we use daily. These address mappings will be hosted by some well known servers on the internet. These mappings can be created usually for a flat fee by many vendors. These mapping servers are very reliable in providing the name resolution.

DNS Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Get any available URLs
  • Reliable, enterprise grade service

Cons:

  • Pay service
  • Not suitable for DHCP addresses

Dynamic DNS

Dynamic DNS (DDNS) is also a name to internet address mapping service but more suitable for home or small business users. The basic Dynamic DNS (DDNS) service is provided free by many service providers(www.DynDns.com).

Internet providers such as cable or DSL often provide dynamic IP addresses to their subscribers unless the subscriber paid for a static IP address. If  you want an URL for accessing your home computer from anywhere:

1.      You have to pay for a DNS mapping service.
2.      If the home computer is assigned with DHCP address then you have to update the mapping every time there is an address change.

But with DDNS service, you can get a basic mapping service for free and these services are suitable for even DHCP addresses. This is made possible by some kind of DDNS client.

Dynamic DNS Client

There are two types of DDNS clients.

  1. A client that runs on your home computer.
  2. A client that runs on your router itself.

No matter where the client runs, the functionality of the clients is the same. They connect to the DDNS provider at regular intervals and update the mapping. When the DHCP address at home changes, the mapping will be updated automatically on the next update. If you choose to go with type 2 client, there are lot of free and shareware DDNS clients available on the web. You can select them depending on the operating system of your home computer and the feature set offered.

Dynamic DNS Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Basic service is free.
  • Suitable for DHCP addresses.
  • Restrictive URLs.

Cons:

  • DDNS clients are not available on all home routers, though newer routers mostly have this functionality.
  • Some configuration involved in running a DDNS client on your computer.

Dynamic DNS Uses

Let us assume that you have setup a DDNS at your home. Now what do you do with that. Actually DDNS setup can be found very useful for your day-to-day applications. Here are some of the uses.

Basic:

  • Remotely connect to your PC via SSH, Telnet, VNC or Remote Desktop
  • Access your files at home computer via FTP

Advanced:

  • Listen to your music collection at home computer from anywhere
  • Run your own personal web server hosting websites, blogs etc.
  • Run your own mail server for sending and receiving mails.

Tonido Dynamic DNS

Tonido is a new software from CodeLathe that includes DDNS client functionality. It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. Upon installation, user needs to create a new account and this new account name will be the users URL.

For example, If you create an account called ‘John’ then you can access your home computer from anywhere using the address ‘john.tonidoid.com’. There is no other configuration needed.

Tonido Uses

Tonido also comes bundled with a bunch of applications that will make your DDNS setup worthwhile.

  1. Jukebox: Listen and organize your MP3 song collection from anywhere.
  2. Web share: Host a quick file download server allowing access to your files from anywhere. Hosted files can be downloaded via any web browser.
  3. Photos: Securely share your photos with friends and family, without uploading to any third party servers.
  4. Workspace: Personal Information Management tool that lets you to sync notes, calendar, contacts, to dos, chat messages among your friends and family.

Summary

There are lot different ways of setting up DDNS service for home or small business. Tonido is one tool that not only provides DDNS client service but also takes one step further by providing all the applications that required DDNS in the first place. You can checkout Tonido at www.tonido.com

One Response

  1. geeknam says:

    thanks for a very comprehensive post 🙂

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