CyberSecurity

What Is DDNS

What Is DDNS: How Does It Work, And Why Should You Use It?

A website must be accessible across the globe at all times to ensure genuine traffic. If you own a website, you would agree with this!

But are you sure that your website remains accessible when you log out of it or reboot the internet connection? Of course, you would not be sure unless you have an internet connection with a static IP address.

The dynamic IP addresses assigned to computers cause website IP addresses to change correspondingly. As a result, many systems may be unable to visit your website due to its changed IP address.

In addition to websites, devices like gaming and web servers are also affected by the issue of temporary IP addresses. DDNS is the best solution to such a problem.

At this point, you might be thinking, what is DDNS? It is a process that involves translating the URL into its corresponding IP address. Keep reading to learn more about what DDNS is, how it works, and its uses, benefits, and security risks.

What Is DDNS?

DDNS, also known as Dynamic DNS, stands for Dynamic Domain Name System. It is the service of changing the IP address of a web server or website as per the changes made in the current IP address of the internet connection.

DDNS is available both as paid and free service. Usually, the home router is equipped with this program because DHCP assigns changing IP addresses to home networks. Once DDNS is enabled, the IP address of the web server will keep updating automatically so that other computers can find the server easily.

Why Is DDNS Important?

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns an IP address to your computer or connection. If this address is dynamic, it will change as soon as the connection restores or refreshes without letting you know.

Other devices or computers connected via the internet lose track of your server due to an unknown new address. For example, if you have a website, it will not appear when visitors try to access it once its dynamic IP address changes.

Now, you can manually change the address to make the server accessible again. However, this can be hectic as the IP changes too often, especially when you use the system frequently. Also, you are likely unaware of IP address changes as you do not receive any notification.

This is where Dynamic DNS comes into play. It follows IP address changes constantly and alters DNS records without any delay.

Additionally, Dynamic DNS frees you from dealing with numeric figures included in an IP address. Otherwise, you would have to remember a long string of numbers that changes frequently.

How To Set Up Dynamic DNS Services?

Keeping the IP addresses updated is crucial to ensure the all-time online availability of your services. However, it takes a few steps to set up this mechanism, which we will discuss below in detail.

Usually, DDNS comes in handy for home and small-scale networks. Such networks create an internal network by connecting to the internet via NAT (Network Address Translation) router. This private network can not connect to other private networks unless you make it available externally (on the internet).

External availability of a network can be achieved by using a technique called port forwarding, an important step of DDNS setup. Once you obtain Portex (External Port) and IPex (External IP), external clients can access your services.

To equip your router with Dynamic DNS, a DDNS Service Provider will help you. Once registered for the Dynamic DNS services, you must do the necessary DDNS and NAT router settings to finish the setup.

Advantages Of Dynamic DNS

DDNS is the ideal solution for networks with temporary IP addresses. Most home and small business owners choose it for their private networks. Let’s see how it benefits us.

Updates IP Addresses In Real Time

A variable IP address needs you to update the DNS server from time to time. Thus, Dynamic DNS is introduced to do this job automatically. Identifying and updating connectivity changes takes no time, so you do not have to track and remember IP numbers.

Allows Remote Access To Your Server

You may need to access or monitor your server or website from anywhere in the world. It means your services must be accessible remotely, which will be possible once they are available on the internet. Again, Dynamic DNS comes to the rescue.

It helps create an external IP address via the port forwarding technique. This way, it allows your server to be visible on the internet. Hence, you and your intended users can access your services from multiple locations.

Costs Less Than Static DNS

The static IP address is one solution to all the problems proposed by the temporary internal IP address assigned by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). An Internet Provider provides a single IP address for your device, for which you will have to pay some fees.

Alternatively, Dynamic DNS solves the problem of dynamic addresses at low costs. Thus, DDNS is an affordable option compared to static IP addresses.

Saves Extra Fees

If you do not have a static IP address, your network administrator must update the new IP address and reconfigure settings every time it changes. This will add to the network charges. Since Dynamic DNS servers automatically update the DNS domain, it will reduce the burden on the network administrator while also saving you additional fees.

Works Accurately

Dynamic DNS performs the intended job quickly without making mistakes in the IP address. As a result, an accurate DNS update occurs, and your server stays connected to the internet all the time.

Who Is Dynamic DNS Useful For?

Dynamic DNS is widely used for home networks as they incur periodic IP changes. However, DDNS extends its services to a large group of people, including:

Business Website Owners

People who offer services or run a business through internet platforms or websites must ensure a 24/7 online presence of their web service. For that, they will need a DDNS client to track real-time changes in the IP and update domain names and network settings immediately.

Thus, the audience will always find their websites on different internet access devices.

Gamers

Gamers will also find the Dynamic DNS server favorable for their gaming experience. By automatically updating network protocol, DDNS software allows you to host an online game server without interruption.

CCTV Camera Users

Changing IP addresses causes the network to lose track of security cameras. Therefore, consider enabling Dynamic DNS for these security devices, so they are always connected to you through the internet, no matter where you are.

VPN Users

VPN Users must stay connected to VPN servers, so it is essential to have an updated network address every second. They can make the most of DDNS to keep their activities unaffected by IP address changes.

Are DNS And DDNS The Same?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. DDNS is an abbreviation of Dynamic Domain Name System. As the name suggests, the latter is the extension of DNS. Both are different from each other but closely related to an internet address. Let’s dive a little deeper and see what makes them different.

Role

DNS servers map website URLs with their IP address to open web pages. However, home networks are assigned IP addresses that do not last long. So, DNS requires configured hostnames corresponding to the current IP address.

DDNS server updates the IP address and other network changes instantly. DDNS services enable the DNS server to locate websites with updated IP addresses smoothly.

Suitability

Because the DNS server can not update an IP address on its record, it is suitable to use it for a static IP address. However, for a temporary IP address, the Dynamic DNS service will be a better option as it can update the IP address automatically. So, a DNS is ideal for the same IP addresses (static), while a Dynamic DNS is good for dynamic IP addresses.

Effect On Remote Accessibility

Dynamic DNS keeps the IP address updated, allowing the website to appear to everyone on the internet. Also, you can host your internet-connected devices remotely if your router has a DDNS server. In contrast, DNS offers no facility for remote access unless the Internet Service Providers assign a static IP.

Is Dynamic DNS Safe?

Dynamic DNS has various benefits, including maintaining your server’s online and remote accessibility. Amid all this, it also welcomes some security threats. Scroll down to know what security risks you may face due to a Dynamic DNS update.

Hackers Hide Their IP Original Address

While sending malware to a system, hackers look for ways to keep their original IP address hidden. They make the most of DDNS to attack a system by changing their IP address quickly and frequently. This way, they meet their malicious goals without being detected.

Attackers Can Change The Website’s IP Address

The dynamic IP address can make your website lose traffic. Some cyber attackers change the IP address of a website with a false IP address. Thus, the visitors are redirected to a fake website.

FAQs

In What Scenario Does A Static Ip Address Serve Better Than A Changing IP Address?

With a static IP address, you do not have to worry about changing your IP address. Temporary IP addresses obtained from DHCP servers will require updated DNS records when it changes.

So, go for a static address for businesses, apps, and activities that need consistent online visibility every moment. You can consider getting a DDNS server from a DDNS provider to solve the issues of a changeable IP address.

Are Dynamic DNS Services Free?

DDNS services are paid. But many DDNS providers also offer free services for a limited or unlimited time.

Why Must A DDNS Server Be Set Up For A Dynamic Network Address?

DHCP servers release a temporary IP address that changes when the modem/router reboots. As the new IP address is unknown to public networks, they will not be able to connect to your web services.

If you enable DDNS, it will automatically update settings on the internet to make the services available again. Therefore, DDNS is a must for a network with changing IP addresses. However, you do not need DDNS for a static network address.

Final Thoughts

DDNS updates the IP address and performs network configuration before you know about any changes. It allows your services or server to appear online every time.

With this process, your website can get more traffic and clients. Also, you can access your server from any location.

Another option is to get a static IP address to eliminate address changes. However, DDNS is an economical alternative. You can even find various free DDNS services.

Derik Belair

As President and CEO, Derik leads the vision, strategy and growth of Augmentt. Prior to founding Augmentt, Derik was the Vice President at SolarWinds, leading the digital marketing strategy for SolarWinds’ Cloud division. Derik has been working in the channel for over 20 years, starting his career as a channel sales rep at Corel Corp. and eventually becoming the first employee at N-able Technologies in April of 2000.

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