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Dyn Decided To Stop Offering Free Accounts for Dynamic DNS (dyn.com)
71 points by pentium10 on Apr 7, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 32 comments

What's disturbing is the number of products which have dyn.com integration built in. Nearly every ADSL modem I've had in the last 10 years has had a username/password field for their service.

It would have been great if they could have monetized that existing base - instead, hundreds of thousands of users will wake up one day next month and things will have mysteriously stopped working.

It would make sense to have a standardised protocol, so you could just enter a URL, username and password.

That way any provider could offer it as a service without custom support in each router.

I think RFC 2136 may support this, but it's fairly complex and needs a separately defined method of authentication, so it's no wonder home routers don't let you set this up.


Dyn started warning about this a year ago already [1]. This is not an overnight announcement.

[1] Text-content of email in my archive dated May 10th 2013. http://pastebin.com/r6JQxU8i

I think this is their way of monetizing that existing base: pay us money or the only dynamic DNS option your router supports will stop working. Most of the damn things don't let you run your own DDNS server either.

I was a free-rider of their free tier for a while, but I totally understand and respect their decision. My main problem is not that I do not want to pay 20-30$ a year for a dynamic DNS, my problem is that it is either one of their domains or I have to bring domain services to them.

I own a VPS, I own a domain and I was wondering if I could do something myself. Does anyone have any recommendations how to set up DIY dynamic DNS? I would like home.mydomainexample.com or even home.homelan.mydomainexample.com to point to my home dynamic IP.

Surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, but if you use (or can move to) Namecheap for your domain registration, they provide free DNS service that includes dynamic DNS [1]. The script to set it is merely an HTTP GET to a URL. A lot of routers provide that ability as part of their dynamic DNS set up (I know dd-wrt does, as does the Mikrotik router I currently own).

[1] https://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/category.asp...

I have setup my own DDNS server, in two Digital Ocean boxes.

- You have to run your own DNS service.

- And setup a PHP page on the server, which when called will update the zone file.

But the next problem is elsewhere. All routers seem to have hardcoded DDNS server names. Therefore even if you install your own service, there is no way you can call it from a router.

It would have been better if routers had accepted a "DDNS protocol" + "a server IP" instead.

I have my home linux server. But I can't share this solution with my friends that don't run home servers.

Using open-source router-firmware fixes most of these pains and gives you the freedom you want. For everything and not just dynamic DNS.

Both OpenWRT and DDWRT are reputable firmwares which supports a wide array of routers.

BIND has built-in DDNS functionality, so you don't need extra PHP scripts.

I wonder if the router would resolve dyn.com (or similar hardcoded domains) through the user's resolver/hosts file.. You can see where I'm going.

Personally, I always pick routers I can run a custom firmware on (have run {DD-,Open}WRT). DD-WRT has an additional field for a single url to update IP. I use namecheap's API endpoint there.

"Does anyone have any recommendations"

I've been thinking about this prior to this announcement.

The way I am planning to (try to) solve this is by way of a cron script running on the host box at the location with the non static ip address.

The cron script running ever minute "gets" a page on a remote server [1] (say using curl). Actually see [2].

Another script running on the remote server monitors the apache logs and notes when the particular page is requested (along with some possibly unique and changing random number). Another script then takes that IP and updates the dns server that you have running and restarts it.

All of this should be able to be done with shell scripting and use of cron.

Thoughts? I'm not proposing this as a robust solution to everyone's issues but I think it will work.

[1] ssh to the server and gets the page locally or by VPN so that the page being requested is obscure.

[2] Of course I guess you could cut just out the apache part and also just ssh into the server, do "last" piped into "cut" then nslookup and get it that way as well.

It's not really a DIY solution, but Hurricane Electric offers support for dynamic DNS subdomains with their free DNS service. It's super easy to throw in a cronjob with curl and have work. https://dns.he.net/

For this purpose I wrote a script which is run every minute by cron.

It checks if current IP has been changed since last run, and if yes, sends an API request to my VPS provider to update a DNS A record with the new value.

Here is a sample script with Linode and DigitalOcean API calls: https://gist.github.com/Hangya/10026019

You might also want to check if you have IPv6 connectivity on your home connection. If all you want to do is to ssh/rsync/sftp etc to your home computers from the VPS, you might get lucky if your provider assigned you a static IPv6 prefix. Then you are just a hosts entry away from easy access (going from VPS to home machines over v6).

Early donors still get their free account as promised. Faith in humanity restored. I am proud to be part of the early DynDNS history in this small way.

http://zonomi.com may be useful for the "i have a domain but don't want to DIY a DynDNS replacement" crowd. A single zone with up to 10 records can be hosted for free, and one of the features is a simeple GET based update API for DynDNS style operation.

What's the easiest way to run your own dynamic DNS service with your own domain? I'm guessing something like Amazon's Route 53 with an updater script, such as https://gist.github.com/natlownes/2061658

http://zonomi.com has this functionality exposed via a simple GET based API, and it's available on their free account too

been using one for ~1 year : https://gist.github.com/sajal/1572219

Rackspace offers DNS with all cloud accounts and doesn't charge for it and as far as I know, you can sign up for a cloud account and not actually purchase any services, though I would probably put some files in Cloud Files so you're at least paying them something to keep the account around. You can update your records via their API or via their control panel and there are no per-change or per-domain fees.

In my experience with the UK rackspace DNS is that the TTL can only be as low as 600 seconds and will automatically reset to 24 hours after 7 days.

You could be left with a long window before your hosts IP gets updated by your local DNS cache.

Oh, I remember using dyndns back in the day. It was remarkably convenient to run Apache on my desktop computer, I could just drop files to my www directory and have link ready to be pasted on IRC. Of course that was way before Dropbox et al came to be.

I used to pay for a subscription, but I canceled it because I was using it for two hosts only. They are now offering a subscription for 20 dollars, which I think is very expensive considering the two hosts I need.

Oh, well. Time to move on.

I'm very happy with FreeDNS[1]. It just works (never had a problem) and they have nice domains.

[1]: https://freedns.afraid.org/

Nice tip.

If anyone here is using DD-WRT, take a look at these instructions before trying to set up your freedns subdomain (needs a token instead of login/password): extracted from http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/DDNS_-_How_to_setup_Cus...

Go to http://freedns.afraid.org/dynamic/ and login with your normal username and password for the freedns service. Click "Direct URL" on the domain you would like to be set to your WAN IP address. Copy everything from the right of the ? in the address bar.

Router Settings: DDNS Service: freedns.afraid.org User Name: USERNAME Password: PASSWORD Host Name: yourdomain.com,What_You_Copied_Before Force Update Interval 10

(Note: Since afraid.org doesn't require a username and password when doing a "wget-style" update, you can also just do the following to keep from exposing your username and password: User Name: guest Password: guest)

Afraid.org works by allowing users to mark their domains as 1) public, allowing anyone to attach a subdomain to it at will, 2) private, allowing anyone to request a subdomain, and 3) Stealth, a premium feature allowing you to hide your domains from the registry altogether.

I've been happily using it for years, and Josh is very responsive if you have problems or questions.

Thanks for the recommendation, I use no-ip ( http://freedns.no-ip.com/ ) did not know about FreeDNS back when I set it up when dyndns got annoying, but no-ip has been fine.

I am also a happy user. *.moooo.com is priceless

I recently moved to dnsdynamic.com.

Mostly because 1. it's free and 2. it was one of the listed providers supported by my OpenWRT router[1].

While I'm not against paying for services per se, I didn't really feel like one simple host was worth shelling out $20 for on an annual, perpetual basis.

[1] http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/ddns.client

I have been a happy, non-paying customer of ZoneEdit.com for years. I am looking for current information on their free offering and coming up empty, but if the pricing page is complete, your two zones would cost you $12/year each there.

I think that the offering when I signed up was two free zones. Now it looks like you can get one for free, unless I'm just grandfathered in.

Two of the default options on my router are DynDNS and NoIP. They both have paid plans. Is there anyone with experience with both providers who can compare the pros and cons of these services?

Any of the free Dyn users which this affects: move to freedns.

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