Dynamic DNS versus ISPs

I find myself locked into an eternal conflict with my Internet service providers when I am at home. I am someone who has developed her skills around using a computer to rely on for communication. I write that which I cannot say, and I reach the otherwise unreachable. When I lived with my parents I had to pay an extra 5-10 dollars a month just to be able to use and manage my own router. We had a local ISP, so I guess it is understandable to some degree. Now that I am on my own I’m stuck with Comcast, but fortunately I seem to be able to manage (most) ports on my router without having to pay a little extra… Comcast is still more expensive somehow.

Granted Comcast does not offer me a static IP address. I have used sites like DynDNS and No-IP to mixed success in the past, but they’re tedious to maintain typically. Eventually I moved onto using FreeDNS at Afraid.org. I could not be any happier with the service, really. If you have a service provider that does not let you reasonably have a static IP address I would highly recommend using their service, because you do not even need to register your own domain to use it. In fact when I first started using it I was using one of many donated domain names out there. Recently the domain I had made my subdomain off of seems to have left us though, so I have added my newly registered domain to their pool for others to benefit from having their own subdomain. It is a private domain, because I feel strongly that I would not allow my domain to be used for anything malicious.

For any of my friends who might use Windows to host whatever servers/services they want to host online I found a great tool to automate updating your IP address to the domain you select. Free DNS Update Service is easy to install and configure, and works as a Windows service. I’ve had much success using these tools together thus far.

2 thoughts on “Dynamic DNS versus ISPs

  1. Hey BourneAgain. I came across your website as I was teaching myself to program/assemble my own server. The “About Me” comic is very cute.
    Right now I’m having trouble getting postfix (IBM email server software) to send email outbound (to, for example, a gmail). Since you mention you’re technically inclined, would you happen to have any advice on the matter? Thanks

    (ALSO, I see you got your SSL certificates working–what did you use to set that up? I’m looking over some C code written to do that, but it’s been a while for me–are you into C (or x86_64 asm or RISC asm)?)

    1. Hello Zero. I have explored the email server software exhaustively but the first thing you really need to make sure is that port 25 is not blocked by your ISP. If it is you are just doomed. I have yet to find a way around this, and because I use a Comcast consumer connection (their businesses options do not offer anything that remotely comes close to meeting my needs) I have since abandoned exploring this. I would start by determining if port 25 is even open for you first. You can use a tool like Can You See Me to determine if it is or not, but of course make sure something inside your network is listening on port 25 and that it isn’t blocked by your own router/firewalls.

      As for my SSL certificate I use ZeroSSL. You can either do everything manually through their web browser interface or you can set up scripts. I just load the generated certificates into Apache on a WAMP setup I use. I have a background in computer networking, and electronics repair. I’m not terribly good at programming or scripting myself. I don’t have any background with C or any assembly languages for any processors, so you might be better off asking someone else for help with those.

      Thank you for your feedback, too! I’m not a super frequent poster (if you check the dates you can tell) but it is nice to see a response from an actual person instead of just a bot.

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