How to Set Up DDNS

By Michelle Mista

Domain Name Service servers resolve domain names to IP addresses, allowing people to type in the name of a resource, such as "www.website.com" rather than needing to remember the IP address. Dynamic DNS, or DDNS, is a service that allows you to provide domain name services to a host that does not have a static address. DDNS is often used by home or small businesses whose web servers, webcams or home networks are served from a broadband connection on which the provider may change the IP address regularly.

Step 1

Create an account with a DDNS provider. Dynamic DNS services are provided by companies called DDNS providers. Dynamic DNS accounts can either be free or paid, depending on the provider and the type of service requested. Two of the most popular DDNS providers include DynDNS and No-IP. DDNS accounts be created via the provider's website.

Step 2

Set up your DDNS address with the provider, following any instructions given by the provider as these will vary between companies and account types. Depending on whether your account is free or paid, the DDNS provider may either allow you to choose a dynamic DNS address based on your username and domain from a set of free domain names, for example, "username.ddnsfreedomain.com" or allow you to set up DDNS forwarding to a domain you already own.

Step 3

Download and install tools provided by the DDNS provider. DDNS providers use an application installed on their subscriber's computer to help keep track of IP address changes. When the subscriber starts the application, it communicates with the DDNS provider to give an update on its current IP address, allowing to the DDNS provider to correctly map it.

Step 4

Enable port forwarding on your broadband router, if necessary. If using the DDNS service to host a server, like a web, game or FTP server, you may need to enable port forwarding to ensure that incoming Internet traffic goes to the correct computer on the network. Consult your router's documentation on how to enabling port forwarding as the process can vary between different models and manufacturers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some advanced broadband routers allow users to set up dynamic DNS directly on the router. Having the router handle the dynamic DNS updates frees the user from needing to install and run the dynamic DNS updater from their computer. Consult your broadband router's documentation to see if it supports dynamic DNS and how to set it up.
  • If the option is given to you during installation, choose to enable the DDNS updater to launch when your operating system starts. This will allow the application to run automatically and keep your DDNS information up to date without having to remember to launch the application yourself.