Friday, June 24, 2005

How to set up a domain with a dynamic IP address

Well this proved really easy.

For those wondering what my quest was, I have a iBurst wireless internet account and wanted to host a web server, etc at home. The problem is that iBurst IP addresses change every so often. In order to provide people with a URL rather than a forever changing IP address, a DNS entry that supports regular updating and short time-to-lives (TTLs) is required. Basically, this has your domain name and anybody who types in your URL is given the IP address with the short TTL. This is important because it causes the entry to expire in the user's cache very quickly - preventing users from trying to access your machine at an IP address that has changed.

After considering the free domain and dynamic DNS services (most will give you a third level domain for free - e.g. and give you a program that regularly updates their DNS), I decided to shell out some dosh for a second level domain name and chose GoDaddy to register a ".biz" domain. This proved really cheap ($7 per year). Then I required a free DNS service that would host my domain entries and allow dynamic updating. dnsExit seems excellent and is performing the job ably. All that was required was installing a Perl script on my Linux box and setting it to run on startup.



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