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.