The BBS Corner - Dynamic DNS Services for BBS SysOps

Dynamic Domain Name Services (DNS) provide a way for BBS users to be able to find and connect to BBS systems no matter what IP address the BBS is currently using. This keeps the BBS user from trying to find where you are at each time they try to access your BBS.

Overview On Dynamic Domain Name Services

Most people on the Internet are familiar with the concept of IP addresses. Each domain "name" translates to an IP address. This works because in most cases for web sites the IP addres is "fixed" or a Static IP address. For the common Internet user connection, this normally not the case. It would be physically impossible to assign a unique IP address for each user. There are just NOT enough IP addresses to go around. The solution that most Internet providers use is a method called Dynamic IP addresses. The advantage is that an ISP requires maybe a quarter (or less) of the number of IP addresses for the number of subscribers. As long as one is assigned to the normal web surfer then they log on, it doesn't matter what IP is given to them as long as they have one. But if you're operating a INBOUND system (i.e. a Telnet BBS) this is bad news because under normal circumstances they cannot find you unless they know your current IP address.

Fortunately there is a way around this problem. The solution is the Dynamic Domain Name Service (Dynamic DNS). With a Dynamic DNS Service, you are assinged a "fixed" address which will stay the same no matter what IP your ISP gives you when you log on. You run a piece of software in the background called an IP broadcaster which sends your current IP to the Dynamic Domain Name Service. It in turn accepts any requests for your IP when a BBS user wants to log on. The user types in the fixed address, gets the IP from the Dynamic Domain Name service (which is given to them by the program mentioned above) and they can connect to your BBS.

These services come in two flavors - free and pay services. Pay services generally are rather cheap. However, don't think a pay service company has any more reliability of working all the time than a free service. Be aware of what service you choose for the reliability of the service before you spend money on one.

As mentioned above, you need to run a program to send your IP address to the Dynamic Domain Name service. These programs are available for most common operating systems (Windows, OS/2, Linux, etc) and some are freeware or shareware depending on who made it.

Examples of Dynamic DNS Services

The following is a brief list of Dynamic Domain Name Services. The BBS Corner does not endorse any of these services, rather it provides a potential shopping guide for the new user to choose from.

DtDNS / Sceiron Interactive (formerly Darktech) offers reliable yet affordable dynamic DNS hosting as well as domain name hosting. Operated by a former BBS Sysop. Fees: $5 one-time fee for dynamic DNS users, $20/year for domain name hosting.

DHS International DHS International is a provider of services to the Internet community, ranging from domain names to web redirection and other services. Fees: $5 one-time donation.

Dynamic DNS @ TheBBS.ORG The BBS Organization provides Domain Name Services for users with dynamic or static IP addresses. Works with any type of Internet connection, including cable modem, DSL, dial-up, ISDN, and wireless. All platforms are supported as well including Win9X/NT/2000/XP, Unix, and Mac. Fees: None.

DynIP Dynamic DNS Service Dynamic DNS services by CanWeb Internet Services. Fees: Basic service $25/year, Pro service $60/year. 30 day free trial.

DynDNS (Dynamic DNS Network Services) Dynamic and static DNS services, plus web page redirection. Fees: Basic DNS services are free for up to 5 hostnames, Custom DNS services are $24.95/year.

PlanetDNS PlanetDNS Client allows you to easily create an Internet Name for your computer that automatically tracks your current dynamic IP address. PlanetDNS Client utilizes advanced dynamic DNS technology to provide you with the equivalent of a static IP address without the need to ever again use an IP poster to publish your current IP address to a webpage. PlanetDNS Client enables you to easily run any kind of server software, such as an FTP, mail and web server, on your home computer. PlanetDNS Client includes web port redirection in the event that your ISP blocks the standard web port as well as mail port redirection, mail forwarding, mail store and forward, spam filtering and automatic virus scanning features. PlanetDNS Client is compatible with all Internet connection types, including cable, DSL, wireless, satellite, ISDN and dial-up. Fees: $24.95/year and up.

TZO (Tzolkin Corp) TZO's Internet Naming Utility provides Dynamic IP services for use with many Internet utilities (including Telnettable BBSes) for both dial-up and Cable Modem access. Fees: Basic service $25/year, premier services $60/year.

Yi.Org Yi.Org provides rapidly propogating, dynamically updatable Domain Name Service (DNS). If you want to run your own webserver off of your home computer on a cablemodem, DSL, or even modem connection, this is all you need to make sure that people can always reach your webpage when your computer is online. Fees: None, but donations are accepted.