A dynamic DNS (also known as DDNS or DynDNS) is a service for mapping Internet domain names to a computer with dynamic IP addresses. Most computers connect to a router via DHCP, which means the router randomly assigns an IP address for your computer.
This also means that your computer’s IP address is ever-changing, making it difficult to connect with the outside world. Dynamic DNS solves this issue by constantly updating its DNS service with your latest IP address. If you are looking to run a home network, here, in no particular order, are some of the best free dynamic DNS providers.
Namecheap provides a free dynamic DNS app with its domains, which just so happens to be one of the best DNS services. It’s fast and responsive, quickly reporting your changes to Google DNS.
- After registering your account with Namecheap, head to the “Domain List” section of your dashboard.
- There are three different tiers of DNS providers within NameCheap, with a free lightweight one available to anyone who creates a free account on Namecheap.
- Create a domain or transfer to get bumped up to the “Basic” DNS which guarantees 100 percent uptime.
- Once your domain is available, you can manage its services by going to the “Advanced DNS” section.
- Look for an option called “A+ Dynamic DNS Record” under the “Type” tab.
- To enable dynamic DNS hosting, enter “@” as “Host,” an IP address, and set TTL to “Automatic.”
- For non-existent subdomains, replace “@” with a wildcard symbol “*”.
Namecheap is a service that’s quietly been one of the simpler, faster options and is particularly beneficial for those registering and hosting their own domains.
YDNS is a free dynamic DNS provider that only asks for you to sign up with your email address and password before getting started with it. Unless you’re using a custom domain name, you’re restricted to using the “ydns.eu” domain, but for many people, that will suffice.
- Create a new host with your domain name and its IP address in the “Content” field.
- You can find your domain’s transfer IP address from your domain provider’s nameserver page.
- All dynamic DNS for host options can be accessed from the domain’s configuration page under “DNSSEC” and “Records” subheadings.
There’s no limit to the amount of custom domains or hosts you can have on YDNS, and there’s support for the DNSSEC security extension. It works with the majority of dynamic DNS implementations.
More tech-savvy users can also download the bash script for YDNS, using that to update the dynamic hosts.
With its extremely minimal presentation, FreeDNS offers one of the simplest ways to quickly set yourself up with a Dynamic DNS. (It also offers static DNS services.)
The process for setting up an account is quite straightforward, making DNS pointing instantaneous.
- To use dynamic DNS options, first add a domain to FreeDNS, then create a subdomain.
- There are tens of thousands of domains to choose from, as well as the option to use your own custom domain names. All of these domains offer URL redirection. It’s one of the most popular dynamic DNS providers, dealing with over 7 billion requests a month.
- FreeDNS offers two options to update dynamic DNS. You can download one of their dynamic DNS clients for Windows, iOS, Android, Routers or Unix. Or if you’re a programmer, you can use an API with XML.
- After adding a domain or subdomain, all your generated update URLs will appear on FreeDNS’s dynamic DNS page automatically.
ClouDNS offers free dynamic DNS services for Windows, macOS, Linux, and all other types of Unix systems.
- To enable dynamic DNS for your domain, log in and head to the dashboard where you must enter your registered or transferred domains.
- Enable DNS hosting for that domain using “Create zone” option. A pop-up window will open allowing you to create a zone with all records.
- Go to all the records for your domain’s DNS zone and create an “A” record. Here you can add your own dynamic URL for dynamic DNS hosting.
As one of the most popular DNS hosting serviceS, ClouDNS currently supports four DNS servers, one DNS zone, and up to 50 DNS records for free account users.
Dynu DNS is a reliable dynamic DNS provider. It offers free and paid versions, with the paid version having some additional features. However, the free version will provide reliable DNS uptime through a number of servers located across the world. This is important because it implies that even top-level domains will work, regardless of the countries they belong to.
- After signing in, go to Control Panel in dashboard to select “DDNS Services.”
- Add dynamic DNS. It can either be a Dynu domain name or your custom domain.
- Fill in the IPv4 address of your domain’s nameserver. Dynu also supports IPv6 addresses.
- Save the dynamic DNS configuration for regular use.
It’s free to download THE DDNS client, which will run in the background and automatically updates the DNS record when your IP address changes. With the free version, all the services are available for just one subdomain. These services include email service, domain registration, and SSL certificates. With the paid version, you have all the services for an unlimited amount of subdomains.
The DuckDNS dynamic DNS service provider is built using Amazon’s infrastructure. The website is plain, and the entire system is run by just two software engineers.
This system, however, has a decent amount of written tutorials to help set up DuckDNS on a number of platforms. These platforms include, but are not limited to, macOS, Windows, and Linux.
- To access dynamic DNS services, add a domain name with DuckDNS or one of your custom domains.
- Update your IPv4 and IPv6 addresses in the records. They will be automatically updated as dynamic DNS entries.
Your account is allowed to have four subdomains on duckdns.org. You will only get more if you make donations to the team.
This US-based DDNS provider offers a free package as well as two paid packages. The free version limits you to three hostnames, a limited number of domains, and a need for account confirmation every 30 days. If accounts are not confirmed, they are immediately deleted.
- To get started, log in to your No-IP account and access the “Dynamic DNS” option in main dashboard.
- Access your hostname for which the dynamic entries will be created. It is automatically set as type “A” for these services.
- You can update the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses from the “Modify” button.
- You’ll also need to download a Dynamic Update Client (DUC) for Windows, Mac, or Linux.
You also will have floods of adverts in the freeware version. None of these downsides apply to the paid version, however.
Unlike many other names in this list, dynv6 is a truly free dynamic DNS provider. It quickly assigns public hostnames to any IPv4 or IPv6 addresses without the need to enable your router’s port forwarding or NAT translation.
- After logging in to the dynv6 dashboard, click “My Zones” to “Create your first Zone.”
- Give it a name based on allowed alphanumeric characters or add your own domain.
- Add your IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. If your device doesn’t have an IPv6 address, leave that field blank.
- Add your delegated domain to the newly created DNS zone. It can be either your own domain (“example.com”) or a subdomain in the format “dyn.example.com.”
- If you use invalid nameservers, it will show an error.
- After a delegated subdomain or domain is created, you can access its DNS settings from “My Domains.” They are set to a dynamic IP level as default.
As soon as you finish the basic task of adding a domain with dyn6 as explained above, the dynamic DNS is enabled within seconds.
As the last item in our list of free DNS providers, DNSExit is worth trying because of its relative ease in assigning dynamic IP addresses. Aside from dynamic IP addresses, you also get free second level domains under the main domain. There is no obligation to run any paid or premium servers, although the adverts are frequent and annoying.
- On the DNSExit dashboard, set up a new DNS from “Add new services -> DNS service.”
- DNSExit offers two options to create DNS: the DNS Express, which is faster (still allows you to change the A values and aliases), and DNS Wizard, which is a step-by-step guide for the same outcome.
- Choose DNS Express as it’s really fast and easy.
- In the next stage your computer’s IP address is automatically assigned to the domain of your choice. If you want a different IP address, change the field manually.
- The IP address is assigned to be dynamic automatically. If you want a static IP address, just uncheck a box shown here.
DNSExit also supports the downloading of dynamic DNS clients and DNS failover monitoring for both static and dynamic IP addresses.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between static and dynamic DNS?
A static DNS assigns a unique IP address to the hostname device, which does not change at all. In comparison, a dynamic DNS uses a pool of available IP addresses that can be randomly assigned to the device.
Should I use static or dynamic DNS?
Both static and dynamic DNS have their unique advantages. If you’re hosting a web or mail server, static IP addresses are easily found by your online visitors. Dynamic DNS is much more useful for multiple internal webpages and business and professional sites.
Are dynamic DNS services safe to use?
The dynamic DNS services are totally safe and secure if you’re using a reputed DNS provider that has a mechanism to ensure data privacy. All the dynamic DNS providers in this list use oAUth and other secure authentication protocols.
Image credit: Pixabay All screenshots by Sayak Boral
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