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Being a long time fan of DynDNS.com , it was a great disappointment for me, when they announced that they will be stopping their free service completely. These guys started out with good intentions and offered a free service that allowed dynamic IPs to be updated and pinned to an easily remembered domain name. Yes, it was free! One such use of this service is to view home IP cameras. Most houses subscribed to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) would have a range of dynamic IPs issued to the household which rotates according to the Time To live lease. This made it impossible to hook up your IP camera and remotely view it from outside unless you knew what IP was assigned to your house hold at that moment.

Along came Dyndns service which was really awesome because they worked with major players in the networking equipment business and got their service listed as part of the DDNS services of common routers such as linksys and Asus. That meant that you would just have to register with Dyndns, setup a free domain name and you could program your router to update Dyndns services whenever your IP changed and your free domain name would get updated. Yeah! means that if you wanted to remotely view your camera or access your computer , you could just point to the free domain name and you would get access. 

So that is why when i got the email from Dyndns informing me that i will now have to start paying about 20 USD to get this service which i had been enjoying for free for close to 10 years now, i was like bummed out. (They actually made it free as long as you kept logging into your account monthly - but now they are even stopping that.. times must be bad)

Anyway, this got me to working out an alternative method to get the same services for close to free. It's not going to be entirely free because you would still need to own a domain name in order for this method to work. Lucky for me, i owned a few domain names, but they were all being used to point to websites. Not to worry, as long as you own the domain name and you can access the nameservers of the domain, you will be able to setup this free ddns service.

I made use of the subdomain in order to maximise the uses of a domain. so for example, my main domain is mydomain.com, i would set homecam.mydomain.com to point to my home router, then i use port numbers to detect my devices. This meant that my main domain could still point to my website and my subdomain homecam.mydomain.com would be used as my new domain to my home cameras!

The beauty about this method is that you would just need to set it up once and then you can forget about it, as long as you keep paying for your annual domain name renewal.

So your cost would be the annual price of the domain - about $12 USD , which you would already be paying if you had a website, so to me ,it was free.

 

I will be listing out the services i had to register in order to get the free DDNS service working. I owned an ASUS RTN56 Router and you would need a router which included the dnsomatic service if you want this to work. So before you carry on, register yourselves to:

  1. dnsomatic.com
  2. afraid.org

DNSOMATIC is the FREE dynamic IP updated which will replace the dyndns service. Because my router had this service listed in the DDNS tab, i will assume that most credible routers will have similar service registered. Register an account with DNSOMATIC and i will explain how we will set this up.

Afraid.org is essentially a free Domain Name Server(DNS) service. Think of it as your own little yellowpages book of IP addresses. When you own a domain name, you will need to point it to Names servers so the domain will know where to route the IP address information from. Using Afraid.org is a free way to setup your name servers. All you need to do is add:

  1. ns1.afraid.org
  2. ns2.afraid.org
  3. ns3.afraid.org
  4. ns4.afraid.org

As you name servers for your domain. Keep in mind that you will need to manually set your A, CNAME and MX record to point to your current website if your domain originally had a website. - to find out how to do this, please contact me

If you want to do the sub domain method, you need to read on else you can skip to Setting up your dynamic link part.

Contact Me

Wesley Choo
Sunny Island of Singapore

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