Estimated Setup Time: 10 minutes
(plus three hours to find the router password taped to the bottom of your keyboard)
Let’s say that you are running DNS here but you also want to run a gaming server from your house. Definitely.
How does this work?
You probably have a constantly changing dynamic IP address from your cable or DSL provider. You could certainly pay a lot extra every month for a static IP, but that’s for people who don’t know how to hack it.
There’s probably an app already in your router (under the section “Dynamic DNS”) or you can download one that watches for whenever your IP address changes (see below for specifics). Then that app updates a DNS server on the internet with a service like DynDNS. Then set up your beckbox so that you can actually run a gaming server or even another website on your home cable modem.
Step by Step
- First, check your home router (usually found at http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1) and make sure you have a section for dynamic DNS. (If you don’t, you’ll need to run a client on your desktop operating system — search the net for dyndns windows or something like that).
- While you’re there, check to see if it can run other dynamic dns providers in case you want to run something other than DynDNS. I’m going to assume you just want to check out dyndns for now.
- Go to dyndns.org (or some other service) and sign up for an address. Currently, they charge $20/year for their cheapest “Pro” service. (Disclaimer: I donated some money to them way back when they were free and so they’ve given me a VIP account for life, which was quite nice, but I don’t get anything else for mentioning them and there are a bunch of other ones listed below.)
- When you get that, you get to pick out a domain name from them (not your domain name) that will be associated with your constantly changing IP address at your house. Let’s call it beckshouse.homelinux.com.
- Now just set up a DNS name on your box to point at beckshouse.homelinux.com. Let’s say that your real domain is actually mycorp.com. Now you can set up home.mycorp.com to point at your home IP address and dyndns name:
bb_add_domain_record -t CNAME home mycorp.com beckshouse.homelinux.com
- This assumes that you already set up your domain name mycorp.com with bb_add_domain or similar
- Note the space between home and mycorp.com. The tool uses that to figure out what domain you’re talking about… otherwise, things like family.photos.mycorp.co.uk would be very hard to figure out and make the tool hard to ready and fragile. Sorry. I know that it makes the tool slightly harder to use.
- Why CNAME? CNAME stands for Canonical Name, but the easiest way to remember the most common record types are: CNAME is for when you’re pointing to another name (not an IP) and A (for Address record) points to an IP address. (To be more precise, an IPv4 address. AAAA is for IPv6 addresses. Your beckbox supports those records too.)
- Can you do this for free? Yes, sign up at freedns.afraid.org (or similar listed above) and download a client here: http://freedns.afraid.org/scripts/freedns.clients.php, then follow the direction above. Here’s a list of free dynamic DNS providers but I haven’t checked them: http://dnslookup.me/dynamic-dns/, http://www.no-ip.com/services/managed_dns/free_dynamic_dns.html. Also, afraid.org has a great rep: http://freedns.afraid.org/
Running your own dynamic DNS updating server using ideas from http://www.misdivision.com/blog/create-your-own-dynamic-dns-service-using-powerdns-and-mysql