So, I’m back after a longer while. As a warm-up I’ve decided to write about dynamic dns and why it’s interesting for software developers.
Suppose, you want to write your own web applications at home, and present them to the world, but you don’t have a static IP address. A common scenario. Back in the days when I had my first broadband Internet access I didn’t have that problem, I had my own IP. So besides spending countless hours on Battle.net playing Diablo II or WarCraft III. I was also playing with some PHP with MySql and building my homepage which I was proud to share (and nag people to create an account on it).
Now, if I wanted to do something like that, I have basically two options: either I take the stuff to “The Cloud” meaning some external means of hosting, or I do it myself using dynamic dns service. The idea is easy – you setup an account on dynamic dns provider site, choose a subdomain and domain you like, download a client handling IP updates, forward appropriate (e.g. 8080) ports on your router and voila. You are a host now.
I’ve tested the no-ip.com and it’s ok for me. You can use three domains for free as long as you log on every 30 days and click a button confirming you are still alive and avaricious, or you can pay and get more options. There are a lot of domains available, like: hopto.org, ddns.net, myftp.biz etc, so your final address might look like this: yourname.hopto.org. Of course, if you don’t want to expose that you are cheap, you can always get a top level domain and redirect it to your free ddns domain.
So, it’s easy, its fast, it’s free. Any disadvantages? Some ddns domains are considered harmful. For example facebook won’t let me paste a .hopto.org address in chat. Second, if you want your app to be alive, your machine and server needs to be up. Third, exposing your network to the outside world like that may pose some security threats.
That’s it for now. My pet project I’ve written a lot previously is on hold as for now, but I’m slowly planning to get back to it. Currently I’m experimenting with a few technologies and poking with Endomondo rest api. See you next time, hopefully without such a long breaks.
p.s. here is your dragon, as always.