I'm looking to run a website on one of my Raspberry Pis and I don't have a fixed IP address. I want to use my own domain name (i.e. I don't want to be tied to a particular sub-domain). I understand I need a dynamic domain name server. Can anybody recommend one - free if possible? I'm in the UK if it makes a difference.
Perhaps I don't understand their site but it seems (at least for the free service) that they restrict you to certain sub-domains eg .ddns.net. I'm not sure about the $19.95 sign-up. Does that allow you to use any domain name?
The less you pay the less you get. The free service gets you 3 names from a limited set of their domain names. The next service costs money, has some direct support included and lets you have 25+ names from anexpanded list of their domain names.
Many domain registrars include domain/mail forwarding in the price for the domain. In my case I have a domain with forwarding and have all traffic forwarded to a free dynamic name. The dynamic update client runs on a machine at home and updates the dynamic dns with the IP address for home when it changes. People accessing that machine just access the real domain name.
For dynamic DNS I'm using dtdns.net. Free, works for me. Very occasionally they email me to check I still want some of the dtdns names I have. Click the link in the email to renew. Simple and painless.
I would suggest that unless you actually need to use a Pi, i.e. you have something local connected to it to be presented over the web etc. then you should look into getting a cheap VPS. I used to run numerous services from a small Linux machine at home but now use some of the very cheap low end VPS that are available. I think I pay 3Eu / month for a single Xeon 2.5GHz CPU, 5GB disk and 256MB memory. That has a 1gbps connection to the internet and 1TB of traffic a month, 1 IP4 and many IP6 static addresses and you can run any of about 25 prepackaged Linux distros off the shelf. Probably costs less than the electricity to run the small Linux machine at home. Pay more, get a bigger machine.
It's free and you can use your registered domain name. The setup is a tad convoluted, but once you're there, it works. To eliminate dead accounts, they require a refresh occasionally, but it's painless.
I want to use my own server or a free one not because I'm mean (although I am) but because of a bad experience with my current server supplier (123-reg). They assumed I wanted the service automatically renewing (I didn't) and forced me to ring up to cancel this option. They kept me hanging for 20 minutes on a chargeable tel no. I'm very leery of using a paid-for service if this is the standard of business practice.
If you have your own domain name, simply signup for a free no-ip DDNS name, then setup a CNAME record which points mygadget.mydomainname.com to your no-ip address, setting the time to live to be in the order of minutes rather than hours.
You then configure your no-ip client software to update your free no-ip address. A DNS lookup on your CNAME record will resolve to your dynamic IP.
I found only this one the last time I looked . I have not tried it because I have a legacy free one from Zoneedit. Like most others ZoneEdit no longer provide the free service.
I found I needed some sort of failover for the many times when my server is down but I don't think there are any free ones. DNS Made Easy provides failover for $35.00 per year. If you don't need failover Montastic will send you a (free) email when your server is down.
FreeDNS works for me, and provides a fairly large choice of domain names. The RPi on which my web server sits runs a shell script which checks the IP address every ten minutes. If the IP address has changed, the script tells freedns.afraid.org.
My bad! I thought that FreeDNS supported the OP's desire to use his own domain name but he can only use one of theirs using the free service. They mention a way of using your own domain name with their "premium service" but presumably that is not free.
I'm now down to zero free DNS services that allow you to use your own domain name. It looks like the OP has the choice between John Kenyon's clever work around or spending $30.00 on DNS Made Easy. DNS Made Easy allow up to five domains so he could reduce the cost to $6.00 p.a. by finding four friends with a similar need!
offers free dns hosting, and has support for dynamic dns. You can register your own domain with them (not gratis), or just assign them as your dns provider at your own domain provider, if you already have one.
They do not offer subdomains for free though, not even for dynamic dns. You have to have your own domain.
Oh, and there is this small gothcha: The user interface is in Danish! :)
But if you can deal with the language - Google translate? - they are very good.
The DNS servers provided by my domain registrar free with the domain support dynamic DNS, so I can have as many dynamic entries in my domain as I like. My email address is valid if anyone wants to know who the registrar is rather than searching for one that provides this service.
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I checked about 3 days ago and it is still free. I checked some old emails from them and they only require the periodic refresh if you use one of their freebie domain names. If you use your own registered domain, the refresh isn't required (as of 3 days ago).
The $20/yr service provides "...access to emergency technical support". That section also mentions a web interface. With the freebie, you enter your domain name, change your DNS servers at your registrar to the dtdns servers and that's it. There is no display of your DNS info from that point on. The freebie *domains*, however, have a simple table to add/edit entries. I'm not sure how many registered domains you can host for free. I have 2, and they both work fine.
If you happen to need web & mail hosting off your own site then if you use mythic beasts' service they have an API for doing dynamic DNS. There's a bit of perl that you run to update their nameservers.
I think you have this the wrong way round. Dynamic DNS as a service is very simple to provide, so it's the kind of thing domain registrars do (eg Namecheap does as part of a standard $10pa domain registration). There's a revenue stream and sustainable business model. If you use a free third party dynamic DNS service, where does the revenue come from? It's not like you can hijack the DNS request to show ads.
The only fly in this ointment is the update protocol seems to vary a bit between suppliers - and some routers have a hardcoded list of suppliers in them. But that's braindead router software - and there are ways to work around that.