Dynamic DNS is a system or service that keeps a domain name’s DNS records updated even if its IP resolution often changes. It ensures that your website with a frequently changing IP address remains accessible to any visitor at any time.
If you don’t already know, IP addresses were manually assigned to domain names using a static translation table when the Internet was still in its nascent stages. So as you can probably imagine, that method is only doable if you only have a few websites to take care of.
That would take a lot of time and effort, not to mention may be prone to error for today’s 1.18 billion websites worldwide. And so dynamic DNS services were born. Let’s find out more about the technology.
How Does Dynamic DNS Work?
You need a dynamic DNS client or server to make the service work. That will monitor IP address changes in your network. When a connected computer whose last IP address (e.g., from 216[.]52[.]18[.]15) changes (e.g., to 216[.]52[.]18[.]20), which it will likely do if it’s dynamic, the dynamic DNS client reflects the modification. That way, all requests directed to that system will continue to be received and responded to.
Here’s a video showing how that happens.
Who Uses Dynamic DNS Services?
Organizations with several connected devices that don’t use static IP addresses need dynamic DNS services to manage their direction to applications and websites. A static IP address, as its name suggests, doesn’t change. A system or application retains that address as long as its subscription is paid. But very few companies, probably only large enterprises, can afford static IP addresses, which usually cost close to US$400,000 per block.
Dynamic DNS services are also helpful for organizations with Active Directory functions, which manage permissions and control access to network resources (e.g., printers, etc.). They are also beneficial for companies that support remote work or have employees that frequently travel.
Website owners also use dynamic DNS services to direct domains and subdomains to their corresponding servers, which don’t have static IP addresses.
Alternatives to Using Dynamic DNS Services
There are only two possible options in place of dynamic DNS services, namely:
- Using static IP addresses, which, as we said earlier, is expensive
- Changing systems’ IP addresses manually if the organization has dynamic IP addresses
Benefits of Using Dynamic DNS Services
Dynamic DNS services provide three primary advantages:
- Accessibility: Users don’t ever have to worry that visitors can’t access their websites or servers. Even if its IP address changes, your operations won’t get interrupted.
- Practicality: Users don’t need a network administrator to check and reconfigure system settings constantly.
- Economic: Users don’t need to use static IP addresses but still won’t suffer from IP address conflict.
To recap, dynamic DNS use is critical because, without it, shared systems and services may become inaccessible when their dynamic IP addresses change. Suppose you’re used to accessing your company’s attendance portal on the dynamic IP address 200[.]192[.]3[.]38, for instance. In that case, you won’t be able to access it if its address changes to 200[.]192[.]3[.]55 and your company doesn’t use a dynamic DNS service.