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back to article Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month

Domain-name service provider Dyn has announced that it will discontinue its last remaining free services, effective May 7. "For the last 15 years, all of us at Dyn have taken pride in offering a free version of our Dynamic DNS Pro product," Dyn CEO Jermey Hitchcock wrote in a Monday blog post. "What was originally a product …

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Later adopters still get *something*

They get 25% off the 25$ per year service... which to be honest is a pretty good price. Provided it still works with the DYNamic entry in my Router/Modem combo thingummy

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Later adopters still get *something*

The price is not good at all. I have my own domain and host it on Route 53 from Amazon. The cost, $0.51 per month; $0.50 for the hosting service and $0.01 for the queries that are performed each month. That is $6.12 a year; plus the domain. Do they support the dynamic portion? No, but there are scripts that perform that for you. $25 (even with the 25% discount) is just not worth the price for what you get. I can even have Amazon do things like server health checks, geographic load-balancing among other features.

What they lack is the built-in functionality that is in your router/modem combo. How long will that be offered though? Surely the manufacturers would prefer a free solution, so I expect in the future, DynDns won't be an option in equipment. If you have a server behind your router though, you can easily just use a script though.

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Mushroom

Re: Later adopters still get *something*

Sheez....you really are a tight arse...

Still, glad you work for nothing.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do they support the dynamic portion? No

So not a suitable replacement then.

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Re: Later adopters still get *something*

Not the same service, when your IP changes you have to go in and manually change the DNS entry in Route 53 to point to the new IP. Of course, if your not at home, how are you supposed to know your new IP? You could write a quick shell script if you know what your doing and use the AWS API to update it with the new IP. But that really isn't the point is it. The 3rd party provides a complete solution, and so they expect to make a profit for providing it, you know, like any business.

Oh and before anyone says, why not get a real domain name, most people who use this service use it as a way to log into their home network when they don't have access to a statically assigned IP address.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Later adopters still get *something*

I guess you didn't read the part that there are scripts available that will update your IP. Guess what, that is all the DynDns client does as well. So yes, it is a suitable replacement and gives you more control for a fraction of the cost.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Later adopters still get *something*

Why pay more only to get less? For 1/4 of the cost you can get a better solution. Do you always overpay?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do they support the dynamic portion? No

It is a suitable replacement as you can get Route 53 to do exactly what DynDns does but only cheaper and have more options. Scripts are available that will update your IP, which is all that the DynDns client does.

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Re: Do they support the dynamic portion? No

use dynpc.com

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Re: Do they support the dynamic portion? No @AC

So AC, you've established a potential cost floor for a dynamic DNS service, how about establishing a selling price. Clearly there is much room between your 6.12 USD and DynDNS's 25 USD price - so an opportunity for you to make some money - either by selling the service or the parts for DIY... :)

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What's the point?

I've used DYNDNS for over a decade, but I have to ask, What's the point of paid service? For $25 a year I can have a real domain name. If I feel like it I can set a 60 second TTL for the IP address for it to resolve to and update it as often as I see fit. I'd find value in the service at $5 a year. The only time in a decade I ever contacted support was to cancel a "free" trial they forced on me. They buried the cancellation option 4 pages of options deep. You know it's not like I was wasting their money on support. In 2003 I set up a group collaboration website for 30 people team1014.dyndns.com I think it was, with a forum, easy to use file storage before dropbox, and a mailing list, and hosted it on a home cable internet connection with a 768kbps upload speed, plenty fast for most things. Each day the file storage was copied to a HD and shared with any team members that needed to grab extra large files or upload them to the site, and changes synced in the evening. I visited a lot of good sites through DYNDNS.

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Re: What's the point?

The point? Support.

A majority of our customers have standard DSL connections with dynamic addresses, which makes setting up a VPN from our end troublesome when they have a problem. Using a DynDNS solution means that we know their IP address when we need to help them or install updates etc.

Given that most of the customers don't have an IT department and wouldn't know an IP address if it punched them in the face, let alone how they would find their public IP address, such a solution is very useful. Especially if they call up and say their production line has stopped, they don't then want to have to run to another building and find a computer in order to look up their IP address.

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WTF?

@big_D Re: What's the point?

They run a production line, which I assume is somehow important or even vital and is somehow dependent on computers and the internet. Despite this, they can't be bothered to learn what an IP address is??

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Mushroom

Re: @big_D What's the point?

Do you drive?

Can you find the TDC on your engine?

Thought not. Yet you depend on it.

It's self-centred, obnoxious morons like you that give people in IT a bad name.

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@Lost ... Re: @big_D What's the point?

I don't work in IT. I've never worked in IT (thank goodness). I can find TDC on my car engine (and used to) but nowadays I pay a mechanic to do that sort of thing for me. If my car broke down on the road, being able to find TDC would not help me to get it started. However, I do always carry a mobile phone and have a subscription to a recovery service, which is much more useful that knowing how to find TDC.

If I was the owner/director/manager of a company that relied on a computer controlled/related production line then I'd make damn sure that there was training, procedures and processes in place to deal with common/forseeable problems and breakdowns. Perhaps you prefer the 'keen amateur' approach to running a company which clients and employees depend on?

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Re: @big_D What's the point?

They have a server running their production line (mainly slaughter lines), but don't have any need for Internet - many customers actually install an Internet connection for the first time when they take our software, in order that we can provide them with support! Heck, for some it is the first time they have had network connected computers in their building!

They are often lucky if they can get 1mbps DSL connection, let alone a business connection.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's the point?

"A majority of our customers have standard DSL connections with dynamic addresses, which makes setting up a VPN from our end troublesome when they have a problem. Using a DynDNS solution means that we know their IP address when we need to help them or install updates etc."

May I make a suggestion based on something similar I have configured at home?

Set up a scheduled task on one of their Internet facing computers which polls www.ipchicken.com, www.whatsmyip.com, or similar, scrapes the address shown, and emails it to you, or uploads it to your support website, or something. Set this to run every 15 - 60 minutes, perhaps only send the address to you when it changes.

Alternatively rent a Linux VPS server (or two) somewhere, buy a domain and set up BIND to host this. Then use the scheduled script to update the A records for the customer (with appropriately short TTLs). You can use that to find out their IP address as and when needed.

I used DynDNS for several years (their mail relay services as well as the Dynamic DNS one), before I set up something similar to the above for my own domains. Much much cheaper, and more fun learning the ins and outs of CentOS, BIND, Postfix, etc!

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Vic
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Re: What's the point?

Set up a scheduled task on one of their Internet facing computers which polls www.ipchicken.com, www.whatsmyip.com, or similar, scrapes the address shown, and emails it to you

I've done something a little simpler in the past...

Set up a scheduled job to do a wget http://myserver.example.com/their_name . Discard any return.

Then you just need to look in the Apache logs to find their current IP address :-)

Vic.

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Re: What's the point?

Or alternatively, if you're using a router facing WAN (a modem without any repeated router/gateway, I have dd-wrt on it), you could request your IP with something like this:

curl 2>/dev/null your_routers_LAN_IP \

| sed -n '

s/.*\&nbsp\;IP\: \([.0-9]*\)<.*/\1/gp

'

PS: both the code and pre tags don't scale very well on ELReg, hence a bunch of lines instead one only.

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Re: What's the point?

@AC With the most complicated use of scheduled task, whatever...

You don't understand providing a business service at all. 25$/year is a small price for a solution that just works out of most routers you can buy, home or even small business models...

So why use a complicated solution, where you have to run a scheduled task on a computer or rent linux servers or whatever. You have one solution, where everything works with just a small entry in a configuration box on the router and where you have to pay 25$. You have another solution where you save the 25$ but depend on a proprietary solution without any support, failsafe, whatever...

My decision is clear and I would fire any IT-support-company on the spot that would recommend the homebrew version....

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Re: What's the point?

If they have a production line then they can and should pay for a business-class service.

Dyn has been steadily dumping its free stuff for a while.

Some time back you had to start logging into the website every month or lose the domain - but you could reregister it.

More recently (4 months ago) I missed the 30 day deadline (by 2 days) and found that I couldn't do that anymore. The only way to continue was to stump up some readies.

It took about 3 minutes to setup a similar domain somewhere else. Problem solved.

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Re: What's the point?

For many businesses a static IP address is supplied by their ISP: change ISP and you have to change your static IP address...

Having set up major IT systems to use a static dynamic domain to connect to each other rather than an IP address or the domain tied to that IP address, means that changing ISP's and generally messing around with connections such as alternative routing or relocating key servers is much much simpler. For this I happily recommend client pay what is a very small fee for the convenience.

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Re: @Lost ... @big_D What's the point? @Frank ly

>"I do always carry a mobile phone and have a subscription to a recovery service, which is much more useful"

That number is the telephone equivalent of a dynamic address - that's how your call can be routed to a call centre in Scotland (yesterday), India (today) and Wales (tomorrow) - you don't care which telco is routing your call, neither do you really care where the person answering it is located, just so long as they get a man in a van out to you (where ever you happen to be) within the next hour.

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Vic
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Re: What's the point?

> Having set up major IT systems to use a static dynamic domain

A static dynamic domain?

If you're doing "major IT systems", why not just set up the appropriate records in DNS properly, rather than messing around with Dyn et al.?

Vic.

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Re: What's the point? @Vic

Should of used the term "critical" rather than "major" which as you rightly intimate implies large enterprise.

Basically for enterprises with IT departments - who can administer things you are right. However, for smaller multi-site businesses DynDNS is a quick and reliable way of doing exactly what you say.

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Was a great service (up till about a year ago) have been missing it for awhile as I used it to redirect my domain to my web server which runs on dynamic IP.

Been thinking of looking for another service since. If I wanted to pay $25 a year I could just pay a cheap web host $2 a month to serve the page and just take my personal web server offline... $5 a year I would have considered, but their service is no way worth $25 a month

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zb

.... their service is no way worth $25 a month

Wow, that would be expensive! But:

Quote

Dyn offers a 14-day free trial, after which Dynamic DNS Pro costs $25 per year. ®

Unquote

Still, even at $25 pa there are alternatives.

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Re: .... their service is no way worth $25 a month

bleh I meant $25 per year at the end of that comment I missed that when I re-read my post prior to it being un-editable I mixed it up when I said I could host my site for $2 per month, or $24 a year in retrospect. In my defense I had it right the 1st time I said their price though ;)

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So what are the alternatives that people recommend?

I have a single hostname I use on my parent's DD-WRT router so I can access their PCs when they experience problems. Their IP changes maybe once a month, and I access it maybe a few times a year. Hopefully there's a free and reliable alternative for that level of usage.

I'll bet the business about spammers is a load of crap, the more commercial DynDNS become the more obvious they were about no longer wanting us "freeloaders". We all knew that the "must login every 30 days to keep your account" meant this was coming, but some of us have been too lazy about investigating alternatives. I remember looking a bit at the time that was announced and every alternative I found seemed to have a "gotcha". Hopefully there's a "gotcha free" alternative out there for the level of usage I require.

Or maybe it would be possible to give my parents a hostname in my domain and have it update my nameserver. I might have to investigate how that works, that may be the best alternative!

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Re: So what are the alternatives that people recommend?

I'd recommend running Teamviewer as a service on their computer. I run a copy on all my systems, and I can access any system, or my moms from anywhere. (Admittedly this requires some level of trust in the company and government) You also get a nice display of what the status of each computer is without having to login to the computer. The Android client is brilliant. Funky navigation, but it works better than any other way I've seen of navigating a big screen on a small device.

http://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/windows.aspx you want the one labeled "For unattended Access - Teamviewer host"

I still need to find a Dyndns replacement for me though. Oh another thing I used Dyndns for was to connect to an SSH server on my home computer while I was out where I had a ton of useful tools, among them being Lynx a terminal based webbrowser. The computer also hosted a Java SSH terminal. This was like right around 2001 or so. That was fun. Tech is so much easier these days it's losing it's special feeling.

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Re: So what are the alternatives that people recommend?

Using a hostname in your own domain would definitely be an option if your parents' IP address doesn't change regularly (my 'dynamic' address stays the same for months on end). Alternative providers I've used in the past are ChangeIP(.com), No-IP(.com) or Yi(.org).

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Re: So what are the alternatives that people recommend?

When Dyn pulled this on me last year I paid them for a year, while I found an alternative, but have now switched to no-ip. I am now ignoring Dyn's nagging to renew, they'll get the message eventually. One advantage of no-ip is that many of the standard home ADSL routers support it, so there's no need to add some custom server & scripts. Just configure the router as you used to for Dyn.

Sure, there are technically more sophisticated approaches, but for home use to let me connect back to my Mum's network when I need to, KISS is still the best approach.

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Re: So what are the alternatives that people recommend?

I switched to No-IP where you can get a free service with up to 3 host names on the account:

http://www.noip.com/free

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Re: So what are the alternatives that people recommend?

It's just unfortunate that no-ip insists on nagging you to log in monthly as well. I wouldn't bet on them not pulling a Dyn at some point in the near future as well. Oh, and I could be persuaded to actually pay for something like that, but there's no way in hell I'll fork out anything remotely on the order of $25/yr.

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Re: So what are the alternatives that people recommend?

I recommend centrastage dot com. Gives a nice web interface to supporting windows boxes, can even set it up to email before the machine goes t*ts up, e.g. disk is getting full. Never needed to lookup my families ips or setup dyndns since I've started using this. Think it's only free for a few devices though.

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Meh.

The only "special" thing about DynDNS is the "dyn" part, and that's hardly special. One cheapo VPS and a few scripts, and you're done for at least a few thousand users.

Client sends an HTTP request to the server with login details. The server responds with "fuck off" or "okay, here's your domain name and public IP details." Rocket surgery this is not.

A small amount a year I'd contemplate, but there may be a reason that nobody was buying at $25. It's about $23 more than I'd want to pay for what it is.

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Meh

Re: Meh.

I had the free service- it worked, then stopped.

I started again, and paid. It stopped working. I contacted them.

Nothing happened.

I gave up on Dying DNS.

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As a paying subscriber I now consider canceling my contracts

Back in the 1990s I used dyndns since I simply couldn't afford anything else. Then when I wanted DNS dyn seemed the obvious solution, plus I'm doing something good by supporting the free service.

Now since that's gone, I'm considering going, too. The main problem is of course that I cannot port my dyndns.org subdomain.

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Paris Hilton

At least they had the courtesy to give a little notice unlike... some companies. ... Actually I really don'y remember which companies those were, but I know it came up recently.

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You're thinking of LogMeIn

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Go

ZoneEdit

I haven't used the free DNS for a while as I got bored having to activate it every month via email to say it's still alive.

The solution I have used, although not totally free is as cheap as it gets is to buy your own domain name, and use a free acount on ZoneEdit.com to control the DNS. The first domain name is free.

ZoneEdit.com supports Dynamic DNS the same way DynDNS did, so you can set it up via your router, install a program, whatever you like to change your IP address.

http://www.zoneedit.com/faq.html

I did some research about a year ago and there is quite a few of the DNS hosting companies who allow Dynamic DNS now. I don't remember off the top of my head who they are. But I stuck with ZoneEdit.com as it was free and working.

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Re: ZoneEdit

Pretty sure hurricane electric does free dynamic DNS if you have your own domain. I was an EveryDNS user and donor, but didn't get any favours from DynDNS when they bought EveryDNS, so had to jump ship. I came across he.net and my DNS has been rock solid ever since.

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Vic
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Re: ZoneEdit

> Pretty sure hurricane electric does free dynamic DNS

Hurricane also support AXFR from a remote machine - so my domains all run on my office server, with the he.net machines acting as the public-facing slaves.

I'm a bit of a fan...

Vic.

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password issue

I used to use DynDNS (paid), but I wasn't happy about the fact that the client password was the same as my account management password, so that if my computer were stolen, the thief would have access to my account. I complained about this and was told to switch from a $25/year account to a $25/month one if I wanted this feature!

No-IP provides the option of separate passwords with their basic paid account. I'm now a happy customer there instead.

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Devil

dlinkddns

will this affect the still free service they run in conjunction with D-Link www.dlinkddns.com for their customers?

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Re: dlinkddns

From their forums, "This change does not affect our D-Link DDNS users. This is a great question though, so I'll make sure we get it added to our FAQs."

Which they haven't DONE yet.

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Tragedy of the Commons

Yet offering even this limited free service has been an increasingly heavy burden for Dyn, Hitchcock wrote, in no small part because abuse of its free service by spammers, botnets, and other miscreants often leads to retaliations that also affect its paying customers.

So the tragedy of the commons continues, relentlessly. If there's some small part of the Internet to be exploited by scumbags, bottom feeders and fucktards, fuck it over they will.

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<smug I donated years back & I've just got the e-mail :) />

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Use your NAS?

Got the mail last night - obviously not enough people got fed up with the monthly "keep it alive" nag mail and forked out for the paid option. For the half dozen times a year I have used it to get back to home no way would I consider paying for it.

So I went to my Synology home NAS, signed up with their free service and away I went - goodbye dyndns, been nice knowing you.

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Anonymous Coward

Linux users should look at ddclient

It's available in most distro's repos and gives you a wider gamut of (as well as custom) options rather than the paltry few alternatives most home routers give you. It'll query your router for the upstream IP and publish it to an alternative dynamic DNS service.

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