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Networking The Internet

DynDNS Cuts Back Free DNS Options 223

Posted by timothy
from the yes-we-have-fewer-bananas-today dept.
First time accepted submitter LazyBoyWrangler writes "Just noticed the 'free' non-commercial service from DynDNS has been deprecated. Not my place to argue with their business model changes, but the home router infrastructure out there has been built around the promise of free dynamic DNS service. Most manufacturers offer DynDNS as their only option. Removing the free service for non-commercial folks seems disingenuous when they are the only option for many users." According to the linked page, the free service is being drastically cut back for new users (one free hostname, rather than five, and from a shorter list of branded domains), but not ended entirely. Existing users, it says, will see no changes "as long as you keep your hostnames active and up-to-date. If you allow your account or hostnames to expire, you will have to select from the new domains instead and will be limited to the one free hostname."
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DynDNS Cuts Back Free DNS Options

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  • Doesn't matter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Foxhoundz (2015516) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:08PM (#38406176)
    I've been using this [afraid.org] site for a while now and I must say I like it.
    • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:5, Informative)

      by schnikies79 (788746) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:09PM (#38406184)

      It does matter when 99% of routers only have dyndns as an option.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:26PM (#38406304)

        It does matter when 99% of routers only have dyndns as an option.

        we are the 99%

        • by kimvette (919543) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:47AM (#38406736) Homepage Journal

          occupy DNS?

      • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DaveWick79 (939388) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:35PM (#38406352)

        It's not like updating via a router is the only choice. If you are hosting something on that IP you are going to have at least one box that can run a software client to update.

        Also the vast majority of non-commercial users don't need multiple sites on one account - and they don't need a huge selection of dozens of host domains. DynDns is simplifying their free service without affecting the needs of 99.9% of new users. And if you need more sites it is not that hard to setup a free email account to link it to.

        So the bottom line is, this is a non-story.

        • Re:Doesn't matter (Score:4, Interesting)

          by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Saturday December 17, 2011 @01:48AM (#38406898) Journal

          It's not like updating via a router is the only choice. If you are hosting something on that IP you are going to have at least one box that can run a software client to update.

          Not always. Think about a remote security DVR, or a remote (mostly) brainless NAS hard disk for backups, and you'll be on the right track: The fact that there is a network connection and some gear that needs a dynamic hostname does not also mean that there is also a PC capable of running arbitrary software.

          Throwing a cheap router into the mix (which PPPOE users needed to have anyway) just plain fixed that, for a lot of folks, for a long time. This (actually rather old) announcement changes things somewhat.

          This is important because some people might not have seen an email from DynDNS for a decade or more, and will be very surprised when their things stop working after all this time.

          • by arth1 (260657) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @09:42AM (#38408106) Homepage Journal

            Not always. Think about a remote security DVR, or a remote (mostly) brainless NAS hard disk for backups, and you'll be on the right track: The fact that there is a network connection and some gear that needs a dynamic hostname does not also mean that there is also a PC capable of running arbitrary software.

            Also X10. Turning on porch/driveway lights and turning up the heat remotely can be a cost saver for people who don't come home at the same time every day.
            Plus, there's the extra geek point for coffeepot.dyndns.foo

          • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@gdargau d . n et> on Saturday December 17, 2011 @10:02AM (#38408178) Homepage

            This is important because some people might not have seen an email from DynDNS for a decade or more, and will be very surprised when their things stop working after all this time.

            Happened to me recently: I went on vacation for a few weeks and the home server croaked in the meanwhile. No ddclient update for a month -> end of dyndns service. Plenty of things didn't work when I got back for this very reason.

        • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@gdargau d . n et> on Saturday December 17, 2011 @03:41AM (#38407174) Homepage
          I've put the various PCs of family members on DynDNS a long time ago, so I can ssh into their boxes when they have a problem. So now that they are cutting back, I'm being forced to shell money. It's a useful service, I just hope it's not more than a $ or so a month. I'm just sad to see all the free internet of the 90s disapear little by little.
        • by Almost-Retired (637760) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @11:47AM (#38408596)
          It is not a non-story as you seem to imply. I too got caught with the change (but it was several months ago), having one name registered there. It died through no action on the monthly update update because I am now on a cable modem & the ip is assigned to the modem, never changes. dd-wrt didn't do the auto-update because it hadn't changed, so it expired. So now I've had to register again, but with a much longer hostname now that advertizes that its a free dyndns account. The did it with dd-wrt for me when combined with brainslayers refusal to reply to any messages sent regarding a registered dd-wrt install, so I went out and bought another router (another story all by itself, it was 5 each, 60 mile trips to where I could look at routers & read specs before I actually got one that could be configured to work) and this one is hard coded for dyndns.

          I suspect that part of the foot dragging on the part of cisco/linksys/netgear is related to the protocols that other such providers use to maintain active accounts, and tracking them all would quickly make them use a bigger eprom, which in addition to having to write the code, a one time cost, but raises the hardware costs by 13 cents a unit, something the numbskull MBA's just won't accept.

          I did run without a dns name for a while, which worked fine AFAIWC, but my sent email got filtered to the spam folder at a lot of the recipients sites because of the ip address contained in the sig where the name should have been. Damned if I do, and damned if I didn't. Since my site serves as a backup repo of a lot of software for a 25 year old computer, if it goes dark, that is just one more nail in the lid of that old & greatly loved machine.

          Yeah, it is a story, and a PIMA too.

          Cheers, Gene
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:24AM (#38406624)

        Worth a look: http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/What_is_DD-WRT%3F

        Open source router firmware provides support for a number of dynamic dns providers. Including: DynDNS, easyDNS, FreeDNS, No-IP, TZO, ZoneEdit, custom, and others

      • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:26AM (#38406640) Homepage Journal

        Nonsense. You always have the option of paying your ISP for a static IP address and registering a normal DNS entry.

      • by NJRoadfan (1254248) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @03:23AM (#38407118)
        ...and thats why I have a DynDNS account even though my domain registrar offers dynamic DNS service for free on all my domains registered with them.
      • by Barefoot Monkey (1657313) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @06:05AM (#38407522)

        It does matter when 99% of routers only have dyndns as an option.

        I very much doubt the 99% figure as I have never encountered or heard about such a router.

        But that doesn't matter because the authoritative nameserver that you choose does not need to be the same as whatever people are using to make DNS queries for them to find your site.

      • by Doctor O (549663) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @11:12AM (#38408468) Homepage Journal

        So what?

        The point of DynDNS is being able to reach machines behind your router, so if they're online, they can run any dynamic DNS updating client they like, and even as a cronjob or scheduled thingamabob (however Windows might call them, I don't do Windows).

        So, if you *have* machines running, *they* can update the IP, and if you *don't* have anything running, what's the point of dynamic DNS?

    • by skids (119237) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:07AM (#38406538) Homepage

      Currently using that and these other [buddyns.com] two [nether.net]. But then I only ever wanted secondary service, if possible with NOTIFY support. Someday I'll mail in some cash to these fine folks, as I did with everydns before it got eaten by dyndns.

    • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Saturday December 17, 2011 @01:29AM (#38406858) Journal

      I used to use afraid.org, but switched to something else when their domains inexplicably weren't resolving for a long time ago for what seemed to last a week or two.

      Much more recently, I just buy my own domains for the pittance that it costs per year, pick a free DNS provider (Zone Edit still works fine, for instance), and do the dynamic DNS thing that way. If I ever find that the DNS provider is down for some reason, I can fix it myself.

  • Yep (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bobstreo (1320787) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:08PM (#38406178)

    Already lost a domain name I had for I have no idea how many years because google marked the notification as junk so I never saw it.

    I'm partly to blame for not logging in every other day to make sure my account didn't expire.

  • by Above (100351) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:09PM (#38406182)

    While there are services, like DynDNS with proprietary interfaces the reality is that dynamic DNS has a standard interface. RFC 2136 style updates should work with any provider, allowing equipment makers to support everyone. While DynDNS has supported people well, I hope this move makes end users demand RFC standard support in devices so that ANY dynamic DNS provider can be used. There are choices other than DynDNS, they have maintained their lead only via a proprietary interface and a market lead.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:50PM (#38406440)
      What's really disturbing is the sense of entitlement on the internet; Network resources cost money. Maybe not much, but not zero either. But I digress... end users aren't going to demand anything. Appealing to a sudden outburst of education and intelligence is like praying for rain in the middle of a desert. Sure, once in a great, great while you might get lucky and have your wish granted... But I'd humbly suggest a more life-preserving option.

      I mean, look at IPv6; IP address space is now gone. There were economic and technical incentives years ago to convert but nobody did. Now IP addresses, a completely artificial and invented thing, has become equivalent to real property... and people are reluctant to switch now because they've made an investment in this intangible.

      No, if there's anything the internet has taught me it's this; The answer to "They couldn't POSSIBLY be that stupid..." is always "Oh yes they could."

      • The theory is that an ISP should have a fat upsteam pipe of cost X and N thin downstream pipes of cost Y and price Z, such that X + N.Y < N.Z + some reasonable profit margin. The practice is that market forces want Z to be below what can be sustained because it kills off the competitors, provided you don't mind providing a degraded service. The catch is that so many customers are happy with degraded service that the ISPs aren't killed off and Z stays below what the infrastructure can tolerate.

      • Comcast and others are testing IPv6. But let's be real here. There's profit in scarcity. The cell phone industry most assuredly be moving to IPv6, but it won't be pushed very if at all in the home market. Soon, the dynamic public IP will be gone and instead double-NAT will be the default behavior. This will service three purpose.

        1. It will extend the useful life out of the IP block an ISP has and thus serve more customers.
        2. Double-NAT inherently breaks bit torrent, and VPN connectivity. The former uses excessive bandwidth while VPN users are business oriented users anyways.
        3. Forces users that need a public facing IP (like they used to have for free) to now pay for it at two different price points. One for dynamic and other static. Both could now be classified as a business account. Used by non other than VPN users.

        Cha Ching Cha Ching $$$$$$!!!! And they laugh all the way to the bank.

        • by rdebath (884132) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @03:57AM (#38407224)

          2. Double-NAT inherently breaks ... VPN connectivity.

          No it doesn't. It does break PPTP and IPSEC because the people who created those standards never believed people would be stupid enough to use something as dumb as NAT in the real world. But the more recent OpenVPN and some of the it's copycats (eg IPSEC variants) will always work with NAT at one end and can work the NAT at both ends; if you're using a high performance NAT, eg a linux router or a "CGN".

          3. Forces users that need a public facing IP ... to pay

          I don't mind the paying so much, but I'll make REAL SURE I don't pay my ISP for the connectivity "extras". Use a third party preferably using OpenVPN (because it's rather hard to identify on the wire) and preferably in another country.

          2. Double-NAT inherently breaks ... bit torrent,

          Yup, breaks the most efficient file transfer protocol invented so instead the people have to use a VPN or streamed video. (assuming we're assuming the MPAA assumption that all bit torrent is video) Streamed video is the worst; it has to be delivered on time and at the rate required, no slip-ups, no slow-down, no delays. And they hope this will mean their network can be cheaper for the same level of complaints ... fat chance.

      • by makomk (752139) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @06:23AM (#38407574) Journal

        What's really disturbing is the sense of entitlement on the internet

        Not really. DynDNS was a good-enough free option for so long that a lot of home routers don't support sending IP update to anything else. There are alternatives out there and ways of running your own, but that doesn't matter because due to DynDNS providing a free service most people are locked in to using them even if they now have to pay. Their free service harmed competition and now they're reaping the rewards.

    • by DragonHawk (21256) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:56PM (#38406474) Homepage Journal

      DynDNS, they have maintained their lead only via a proprietary interface and a market lead.

      Dyn has submitted their HTTP update API as an IETF draft:

      http://tools.ietf.org/id/draft-jennings-app-dns-update-02.txt [ietf.org]

      So it's not proprietary (limited to or owned by them). You might call it non-standard, but if that draft was accepted it would be on the IETF standards track.

      Also, Dyn *does* offer DNS UPDATE support, but only for paying customers:

      http://dyn.com/support/clients/dynamic-dns-updates-via-tsig/ [dyn.com]

  • Awesome! Finally. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GoRK (10018) <johnl@bPLANCKlurbco.com minus physicist> on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:12PM (#38406204) Homepage Journal

    I think this is great news. Maybe router manufacturers will now be smart enough to simply include DNS Update (RFC 2136) support instead of the proprietary dyndns garbage. Enter your domain name and a key and you're all set.

  • by the_humeister (922869) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:12PM (#38406218)

    I use them, but I only have one address anyway.

  • by NaCh0 (6124) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:14PM (#38406230)

    Vote with your checkbook. We're not talking thousands of dollars or life critical systems here.

  • Old news (Score:4, Informative)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:14PM (#38406232) Journal

    This was done a *long* time ago. Years? Old news is old.

    • Re:Old news (Score:5, Informative)

      by Wild Wizard (309461) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @03:17AM (#38407106) Journal

      True just went back and checked my email from August 2010 and there is the notice.

      Subject: Changes to NEW DynDNS.com Accounts
      Message-ID: bfd1113cf66806ecb6d56590e45d7736@marketer.sendlabs.com
      Return-Path: marketer@bouncelabs.com
      Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 14:39:14 -0300
      From: "DynDNS Support"
      Reply-To: support@dyndns.com

      Hello:

      As you may have seen, we are making some changes to Dynamic DNS accounts.
      Instead of making the changes without notice, we wanted to give all of our
      existing customers a heads up and explain why we are making these changes.
      What changes are you talking about?

      Previously we allowed each Dynamic DNS account to have 5 free hostnames and
      you could select them from 88 different domains that we own. Now this will
      be limited to 2 free hostnames from 18 DynDNS branded domains.

      Also, we are increasing the number of hostnames that come with a DynDNS Pro
      upgrade. Previously, each DynDNS Pro upgrade gave you the ability to add 25
      additional hostnames. We are increasing that number to 30.
      Why are you making these changes?

      There are a number of reasons that we thought it was important to make
      these changes now.

          1. Having 88 free domains to choose from was overwhelming for many of
      our new users. By reducing this to 18 it makes it easier for people to get
      started.

          2. By limiting the free options to the DynDNS branded domains, it helps
      grow the awareness of our services. Although we are happy to offer our free
      services, we simply ask that you help spread the word to other people who
      might find our paid services helpful. We have to pay those bills somehow.

          3. Looking at the stats of our users over the past 12 years, we see that
      the vast majority of people only use 1 free hostname. Our support team has
      seen a lot of confusion caused by the five free hostnames, so when you
      combine that with the normal use case, it just made sense. We are allowing
      the 2nd hostname for those who need to create a WebHop to access your
      hostname. If you are going to need more than 1 or 2 hostnames there's a
      good chance you are using us for something important. If that's the case,
      we simply ask that you pay $15/yr for the DynDNS Pro upgrade, which
      provides a number of other benefits.

          4. If you are using our services for business critical needs, you should
      consider our Custom DNS service.

      What will happen to my current account and hostnames?

      Nothing, as long as you keep your hostnames active and up-to-date. If you
      allow your account or hostnames to expire, you will have to select from the
      new domains instead and will be limited to the 2 free hostnames. To ensure
      you aren’t affected by these changes, upgrade to DynDNS Pro for just
      $15/yr. Again, there are a number of other benefits to upgrading.
      You're just trying to force us to pay you, aren't you?

      No, not really. As long as you keep your account active, you won't be
      affected by these changes. We would never want to have a user feel like
      they were forced to use our services. This does not seem to be a very good
      business model to us. You do your part (log into your account or update
      your hostname monthly) and we will do ours (continue to offer free Dynamic
      DNS services to you).

      --
      Chris Widner
      DynDNS Ninja Squad Sensei

  • by cshark (673578) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:14PM (#38406234)
    Was dealing with a DynDNS owned service awhile back. Took a very famous client from a competitor, and the competitor insisted they owned the web site, even though I had the contract with the previous company that clearly stated that they didn't. Previous company sends DynDNS a DMCA notice, I sent proof the notice was crap (with pertinent sections of the contracted highlighted for easy reading), they took down the web site... and then I moved my DNS to GoDaddy. It's disheartening that DynDNS are such complete shit heads. I will never do business with them, or any company owned by them again, and you shouldn't either.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:15PM (#38406236)

    It seems like the router manufacturers, who have essentially been free-riding on dyndns' service as a selling point for their routers.

  • timothy ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Udo Schmitz (738216) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:17PM (#38406246) Journal

    You actually read the submission and checked the facts, possibly avoiding a flame fest. This is totally unacceptable and goes against everything /. stands for.

    • by Artifex (18308) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:55PM (#38406472) Journal

      You actually read the submission and checked the facts, possibly avoiding a flame fest. This is totally unacceptable and goes against everything /. stands for.

      "You cannot go against nature, for if you do
      go against nature, that's part of nature too!"

      Timothy's one of the few editors left from the old days; don't scare him off.

  • by Dwedit (232252) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:17PM (#38406248) Homepage

    I'm using no-ip.com for my dynamic DNS needs. How do they compare against the others?

  • by Cyko_01 (1092499) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:18PM (#38406260) Homepage
    I have been using no-ip for years without any problems. It is supported on several brand s of routers and in case it isn't there is an update client (also free) that you can run on windows/mac/linux/BSD/unix that will keep your monitor your (external) IP address for changes and updates the dns records at no-ip.
  • This is news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:19PM (#38406264) Journal

    This policy change is many months old, maybe even over a year.

    When I saw the article, I thought that maybe there were even more changes, but I saw nothing new that I did not know since at least the first quarter of this year. I'd have to go rifle through my email archive to know for sure exactly when I first heard about this change.

    • by DragonHawk (21256) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:44PM (#38406408) Homepage Journal

      Agreed -- this is old news. I got my notice about this change on 27 Aug 2010 -- about a year and a half ago. Submitter has been asleep at the switch.

      Given that they're still giving me free stuff, just not quite as much free stuff, I didn't really feel all that upset about it. :)

      Here's most of the text of the notice:

      From: "DynDNS Support"
      To: dragonhawk@
      Subject: Changes to NEW DynDNS.com Accounts
      Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2010 14:39:14 -0300
      Reply-To: support@dyndns.com
      Return-Path: marketer@bouncelabs.com

      What changes are you talking about?

      Previously we allowed each Dynamic DNS account to have 5 free hostnames and you could select them from 88 different domains that we own. Now this will be limited to 2 free hostnames from 18 DynDNS branded domains.

      Also, we are increasing the number of hostnames that come with a DynDNS Pro upgrade. Previously, each DynDNS Pro upgrade gave you the ability to add 25 additional hostnames. We are increasing that number to 30.

      Why are you making these changes?

      There are a number of reasons that we thought it was important to make these changes now.

      Having 88 free domains to choose from was overwhelming for many of our new users. By reducing this to 18 it makes it easier for people to get started.
      By limiting the free options to the DynDNS branded domains, it helps grow the awareness of our services. Although we are happy to offer our free services, we simply ask that you help spread the word to other people who might find our paid services helpful. We have to pay those bills somehow.
      Looking at the stats of our users over the past 12 years, we see that the vast majority of people only use 1 free hostname. Our support team has seen a lot of confusion caused by the five free hostnames, so when you combine that with the normal use case, it just made sense. We are allowing the 2nd hostname for those who need to create a WebHop to access your hostname. If you are going to need more than 1 or 2 hostnames there's a good chance you are using us for something important. If that's the case, we simply ask that you pay $15/yr for the DynDNS Pro upgrade, which provides a number of other benefits.
      If you are using our services for business critical needs, you should consider our Custom DNS service.
      What will happen to my current account and hostnames?

      Nothing, as long as you keep your hostnames active and up-to-date. If you allow your account or hostnames to expire, you will have to select from the new domains instead and will be limited to the 2 free hostnames. To ensure you arenâ(TM)t affected by these changes, upgrade to DynDNS Pro for just $15/yr. Again, there are a number of other benefits to upgrading.

      You're just trying to force us to pay you, aren't you?

      No, not really. As long as you keep your account active, you won't be affected by these changes. We would never want to have a user feel like they were forced to use our services. This does not seem to be a very good business model to us. You do your part (log into your account or update your hostname monthly) and we will do ours (continue to offer free Dynamic DNS services to you).

  • by joshuac (53492) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:25PM (#38406296) Journal

    amusing to see how http://dyndns.org/ [dyndns.org] has changed over the years; in 1999 complaining on the front page about the programmer leaving and taking all his code with him to a completely anonymous, plasticky "professional" look in 2011 and all the slow changes in between,

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:33PM (#38406344) Journal

    I own a German ADSL modem from a company called AVM, the Fritzbox 7390. (Don't buy one) for some reason, intermittantly it's not logging correctly into the DynDNS account all the time. I have had to re-activate my account at least twice now with DynDNS due to lack of activity. (even though I use the actual domain name daily)

    I'm not sure if they want me to log in via the web instead, or the modem is going screwy, or what but it's concerning me as I too, like a few others here have had these names for a heck of a long time.
    FWIW My billion based ADSL modem offsite has also possibly had the same expiration problem in the last 12 months too (I can't quite recall) - definitely a concern.

    • by DragonHawk (21256) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:11AM (#38406558) Homepage Journal

      As far as I know, the rules are the same.

      For the free hostname, you have to submit an update at least once every 30 days, even if your IP address hasn't changed. Otherwise, the free account will be deleted.

      If you send updates *too often*, you'll get blocked for abuse. "Too often" isn't defined anywhere that I find easily, but more than once every several days or so is a good threshold to use. You'll get an email if this happens. Also, the "too often" limit only applies if your IP address hasn't actually changed -- legit updates get a different scale.

      I update every 15 days, and have never had an issue.

      Since you mention your model is having intermittent trouble anyway, it sounds like the problem is just crappy modem software. There's a lot of that out there. (LinkSys's DNS update client was broken for *years*, and they're one of the biggest SOHO router vendors.) I'd suggest disabling DNS update on your modem and using a known-good client on a PC behind your modem.

      http://dyn.com/support/clients/ [dyn.com]

  • by Junta (36770) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:47PM (#38406424)

    Noticed when my router evidently had most user space apps crash for some reason and, among other things, my domain 'lapsed', and I couldn't get it back for free. Now this is particularly crummy as unlike a 'real' domain, you can't just take it to another provider (you only have a host record in their domain, you don't actually have a domain that can be transferred) because you are mad.

  • by arbiter1 (1204146) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:12AM (#38406564)
    When has it been limited to 5, for last year or 2 its told me i only have a limit to use 2 on free account?
  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:12AM (#38406568)

    Personally, I can't really find much of an issue here. Yes, 99% of routers might only have DynDNS as an option, but I'd also wager than about 95% of the routers out there don't use a dynamic DNS server anyways, and of those that do, very few care to setup more than 1 domain name. I doubt this change will affect very many users.

  • by Sipper (462582) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:32AM (#38406668)

    If you have a rented server somewhere running a DNS server, then the usual suggestion I make is to roll your own dynamic DNS. Before somone says "but my router only supports DyDNS", there are solutions that can allow you to update your own dynamic DNS anyway -- the main trick is getting your public IP address. If you also run your own web server, it's quite simple to create a web page like "whatismyip" in PHP:

    (start PHP here)
    echo $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
    (stop PHP here)

    And from there you can make a custom shell script that checks your public IP, compares it with what your DNS server has for the entry, and then update your DNS server if needed. This doesn't need to be done at the router -- it can be done through it if necessary. If you run Bind9, look at the 'nsupdate' utility -- and of particular note, it's possible to do this dynamic DNS update via TCP rather than UDP. That way you can guarantee that the update will get there. AFAIK all of the popular DNS servers have a way of doing dynamic DNS updates such that they don't have to be done right at the router.

    It's more convenient to do this at the router, though, because the router is on all the time and desktops/laptops aren't. So if you really want to also run a custom router to do the job for you, you might like the Alix hardware such as this:

    http://pcengines.ch/alix2d3.htm [pcengines.ch]

    Debian runs nicely on the Alix hardware directly, using a kernel for a 486.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:45AM (#38406726)

    Worth a look: http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/What_is_DD-WRT%3F

    Open source router firmware provides support for a number of dynamic dns providers. Including: DynDNS, easyDNS, FreeDNS, No-IP, TZO, ZoneEdit, custom, and others

  • by mysidia (191772) * on Saturday December 17, 2011 @12:52AM (#38406752)

    They took over handling of the "EveryDNS" free service, with promises to continue the service.

    But now they have forced all EveryDNS users who want to keep using the service to pay them to migrate.

    And EveryDNS is gone.

    Obviously the choice of DynDNS to be the ones to take over the service was a bit disingenuous, since, it was just a strategy to make more $$$ while pretending to be altruistic

  • by ahfoo (223186) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @01:05AM (#38406790) Journal

    That was what pissed me off. But yeah, this is old news.

    Hell I think dynamic DNS should be a basic function of the net. That's how it was supposed to go. What is this Facebook shit. We're supposed to have our own servers. Indeed, back in the day it was actually originally set up where you directly applied for a class C IP range. That was a perfectly reasonable premise. It's interesting how far we've gotten away from that rather simple concept.

  • hadn't noticed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bored_engineer (951004) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @01:22AM (#38406842)
    huh. I've been paying for DNS registration and a dynamic account through them for so long that I hadn't noticed the change. The only annoyance that had any affect on me was when I changed from a static to dynamic DNS with one of my three ISPs. Right now, my wife (plus two kids) and I live in two different locales. I recently switched her ISP to a faster service, but have to overlap the service while she updates e-mail addresses with her various e-mail accounts. I had trouble when I wanted the former static address to update dynamically, but once I understood that this (with the paid service) happened on the client side, I was a happy camper. I would have been happy sooner if they gave explicit instruction for this, but it all worked out for me in the end.
  • by Rix (54095) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @04:22AM (#38407274)

    I still have a permanently free Pro account.

    That's pretty classy in my books.

  • by AgNO3 (878843) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @05:04AM (#38407388) Homepage
    Where on Earth will people find $5 a month to pay for something that can be handled by software that is free and what routers don't also support zoneedit?
  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @07:11AM (#38407690) Homepage
    I've used DynDns for years for free and realised that actually it's not that expensive and I like the other features. I have no problem with them kicking the life long moochers off if it secures their business so those of us who pay can ensure they'll be around. There is no money to be made on the free accounts. They can't even get ad revenue from it so suck it up and pay the couple of bucks or make your own.
  • by ExoBuZz (223063) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @08:19AM (#38407838)

    This thread is worth a read regarding dyndns [webhostingtalk.com] and their practises.

    They recently bought everydns and editdns, offered existing users who paid or donated "free" accounts, and then once they bought it, went back on their word. the free accounts included a migration fee for domains, and the accounts were limited, so users would have to pay again to get the same level of service they may have paid for at editdns for example (and due to dyndns strange pricing where you have a limit of 75 subdomains on the standard paid account, you may have to pay them a significant amount of money)

    Also worth noting, then editdns users expressed their concerns, dyndns were very quick to close down their old forum and place with a note to email their staff.

    Worth noting that Hurrican Electric have a free dns service (http://dns.he.net [he.net]) - with up to 50 domains allowed and it can operate as a secondary dns also. They also include a dynamic dns facility. There are some other free options left, but how long until dyndns buys them too ? :)

  • by thesh0ck (1983948) on Saturday December 17, 2011 @10:24AM (#38408270)
    It is a business... You were getting something for free. Now if you want it you have to pay $20 per YEAR. Not really a huge cost in my opinion. If you really need to use it you get a single address for free, or you pay for more. I havent had the need for it in years since comcast gives me the same ip for years at a time and when it changes I just login to gmail and go to the bottom and click "Details" and it shows me all the ips that I have logged in with and one of them is my home machine.

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