Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Get Yourself a Static IP

If you, like me, have a computer constantly connected to the internet, no doubt you've thought of using it as a server.

Possible uses for your computer could be:
Regardless of the use, you probably ran into the following problem: your dynamic IP changes every time your computer connects to the network. There's no way for you to "ping" your computer remotely, or even get to it. Unless you have a generous ISP who provides you with a static IP, that privilege would cost you a nice sum. You see, ISPs are ok with you downloading stuff - they're not so keen on you uploading. For that, you "should" get a business account...

But services like DynDNS and No-IP solve that problem for you. They provide a static URL of your choice (limited to certain extensions) that gets mapped to your dynamic IP. By installing a small client on your computer (or, in the case of some routers, by enabling an option in the router configuration) the server gets notified every time the IP changes, and updates a DNS (Domain Name Server) accordingly.

I use both services (one on my Mac, one on the PC) and use the free service in both (it has a nag feature, where every 60 days you get notified that the service will expire unless you login within 24 hours and verify your address) - the premium service, with more available address, shorter TTL and extra features costs $9.95/year.

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