How to use dynamic DNS to connect to your PC away from home

How to use the dynamic DNS function to make your PC reachable from anywhere else as a server or in remote desktop

If we need to connect to the computer at home or in the office when we are traveling or even abroad, it is usually preferable to use programs such as TeamViewer or other software for remote control of a PC, so you can immediately access the remote desktop and work remotely.
If, on the other hand, we prefer to create something more advanced, forwarding the ports for folder access via FTP or desktop access via VNC, we must first of all always be reachable on the Internet at the same public IP address, which is not obvious with connections. Internet classic housewives.
In fact, in this guide, we will show you how to take advantage of the Dynamic DNS, which allows you to give a fixed name to the dynamic address to our line so as to be always reachable even in the event of a restart of the modem due to accidental line failure.

How to use dynamic DNS or DDNS

First of all, we need to understand what dynamic DDNS is and why it is so useful to access computer resources remotely; later we will show you how to quickly configure it within the home modem or directly from the PC used for the purpose.

Why is it necessary to use DDNS?

DDNS operation

Basically any device connected on the line can be reached on the Internet via an address External and dynamic IP, which changes with almost every new connection; we must not confuse this external IP with the internal IP of the network, as seen in the guide Finding public IP and private IP and difference.

A dynamic public IP address so it changes from time to time while a static public IP address never changes.
If we use remote access services configured on a single dynamic public IP at the first restart of the modem or restart of the line we will lose all remote services, since the IP will be totally different.
It is possible to work around this problem configure a DDNS service, which will always fish the dynamic IP address of the line and make it reachable on a customized web address, to be used to always access services remotely even with dynamic IP.

Best DDNS services

After seeing how a DDNS service, let’s see together the best free services that we can use for the purpose:

  • No-IP: for years one of the best free services to create a DDNS address to be automatically updated along with the connection IP.
  • DynDNS: another very valid service to create a DDNS address and always be reachable in every part of the world.
  • Duck DNS: open source DDNS service served with Amazon AWS that allows you to keep your PC reachable even with dynamic IP.
  • DynDNS: another valid free alternative to the DDNS services already seen above, without the need to confirm the profiles every month (typical limit of No-IP).

The services are all very similar and allow you to achieve the same purpose: to generate a static (customizable) web address to point to the dynamic IP address currently assigned to our line; if the latter changes the DDNS service will adapt and allow you to maintain the continuity of the remote connection without having to go crazy to recover the new dynamic IP.

How to setup DDNS

To use a dynamic DNS service, we open one of the services listed above and register a free account, so that we can access all the functions.
Once registered, let’s go to the DDNS section e we create our static web address (also called hostname).
DDNS hostname

Once you have chosen the name of our site to point remote connections to, press at the bottom on Add Hostname or similar, click on the new hostname just created, and make sure it is present the public IP address of our line.
DDNS IP

To find out the public IP address of our line we can use an online service such as My-IP.it.
Once this step has been confirmed we will be ready to use DDNS for remote access: all we have to do is open the ports on the router of the services that interest us and use the hostname created earlier. An example of how to use DDNS can be seen below:

  • From 277.68.11.45:8080 to test.ddns.net:8080

Obviously we will have to make sure that the IP address is always updated on the DDNS service, so as to be reachable at any time; for this purpose, it will be enough download the DDNS clients provided by the chosen service and set it to auto-start on the PC or Mac in use, so as to always provide the updated IP.
DDNS app

To download the DDNS service clients seen above, just use one of the following links:

  • No-IP DUC
  • DynDNS Client
  • Duck DNS Client
  • DynuDNS

Alternatively, we can also configure the DDNS on the router, so as to immediately obtain the new dynamic IP as soon as the line is online again; not all routers allow you to configure a DDNS service, but we can find compatible routers in our guide Best Modem to Buy (Fiber, Dual Band, Wireless AC).

Conclusions

As we have seen, the procedure to configure a DDNS service is not difficult at all and is within everyone’s reach but if you do not have the slightest idea how to use this possibility, then perhaps it is better to leave it alone and use easier tools such as TeamViewer or the other services similar to the latter seen in the guide Best remote desktop programs to remotely connect to your computer.

If our goal is to work from home in smart working, we advise you to continue reading our guide Smart working programs for working from home.
If, on the other hand, we want to switch on the work PC remotely, exploiting the potential of Wake-on-LAN, just read our article How to turn on the PC remotely to work remotely.

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