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 Post subject: Connecting a dynamic IP address to a domain name
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:39 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:50 am
Posts: 20
Location: Caerdydd, Cymru, DU
I recently bought a domain, mainly because I've become a bit fed up with having to renew my no-ip DNS service every month, and well, I'm going to be expanding my Opensim presence, and I wanted a more 'professional' look, which meant getting a domain name. Previously when I've enquired and outlined what I intended doing with the domain, I've been told that it's possible to use a domain update client to ensure that the domain name is always pointing to my dynamic IP, just as the no-ip service does. I contacted my domain supplier over this, and they've informed me that what I want to do isn't possible.

Now, I'm wondering if the first line support used by the company I bought the domain from is as bad as most ISPs, where those providing the support basically know nothing and work from a script? It would seem so, and I have written back to the support agent saying this. I'm hoping it will either jog them into providing better service, or I'll get my support ticket bumped up to the next level where I might get someone who actually does have some technical knowledge.

From what I can gather, some routers have the ability to keep a domain and a dynamic IP address in contact with one another, and by chance, (well on the sound advice of Nebadon and Dan) I invested in an Asus RT-AC68U which I'm running on Asuswrt-Merlin firmware, which allows NAT Looback, It also has a DDNS service, which I'm currently using to connect to no-ip. Am I correct in thinking that this would also work with the domain I've just bought?.

I do have the distinct impression that I'm being peddled a load of guff by that support agent over what they claim isn't possible - it seems to me that there should be a pretty straight forward solution to this kind of thing, but I suspect that somewhere along the line there'll be an attempt at selling me hosting...
.
Any help or advice would be great. Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Connecting a dynamic IP address to a domain name
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:03 am 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 2:09 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Netherlands
Hia Susanna,

Your support guy is correct. Thats not how it works. You cannot put your Domainname in the Asus as being a Dynamic address.
What you will need to do at the hosting provider, is to publish a DNS record that points your (sub)domainname to the public IP of your Asus router. This is called a DNS A record.

The bad part is, that if your IP on the Asus changes, you will need to login to the hosting environment, and manually change that record. Publishing / propagating DNS records can take anywhere between 5 minutes and 48 hours.

Owning just a domainname is hence not the best solution if you have a dynamic public IP address.
To get around such, a Dynamic DNS service was invented.... (like you had at No-ip).
You CAN use your current domainname, but will still need a Dynamic DNS service to make it work.


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 Post subject: Re: Connecting a dynamic IP address to a domain name
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:50 am
Posts: 20
Location: Caerdydd, Cymru, DU
Thanks for that Foxx. It's frustrating, as one domain company I contacted last year, when I explained what I wanted to do, said that it was possible, and that they provided that service - I just wish I could remember the name of the company!

So, it would seem I've bought something which is essentially both useless and worthless to me. Well, I live and learn, and it wasn't a huge sum of money.

Looks like no-ip will continue to be updated every month...

However, would a service such as FreeDNS work? Though, from looking at their website it's going to be a struggle actually understanding anything as the jargon is pretty inpenetrable for mere mortals and has left me more confused than enlightened.

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 Post subject: Re: Connecting a dynamic IP address to a domain name
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 2:09 pm
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Location: Netherlands
As long as it is a dynamic DNS service, sure.
And freeDNS might not be supported by your firmware in the router, but for such cases there is typically a DUC (Dynamic Update Client) available for both win and unix. ( It's a software client that updates the IP when it detects changes ).


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 Post subject: Re: Connecting a dynamic IP address to a domain name
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:50 am
Posts: 20
Location: Caerdydd, Cymru, DU
Hi Foxx, thanks for that. FreeDNS is supported by the router firmware, and it would seem that I can route to my domain by using a FreeDNS nameserver but I'm waiting on some clarification over how to set this up - as is (too) often the case with tech tutorials, too many assumptions are being made, or are written by techies with poor writing skills to the extent that they make the mistake of not thinking who their target audience is: if they're providing a tutorial, then logic would dictate that those needing a tutorial would be, clearly, untutored, and therefore it would pay to make no assumptions whatsoever and very much take the 'for dummies' approach. Anyone who understands the processes involved clearly wouldn't need the kinds of tutorials provided as they are, ostensibly at least, provided for those of us who have no knowledge or experience.

Having said that, over the past couple of days I've realised that I can actually do what I was told wasn't possible by the agent at the domain registrar - perhaps they didn't understand my question, (probably because they just skimmed what I'd written and assumed they understood) as they didn't actually answer my question, which would simply have been to explain how I could do what I wanted, and relatively easily at that.

I contacted someone yesterday about this issue and how to deal with it, and it was confirmed that using a DDNS service is the way of solving the very issue I have, and that some domain registrars actually provide an API to do just that - why can't this sort of thing be standard?. And why, if they don't provide that kind of service themselves, can't they suggest ways of doing this, such as using FreeDNS? I'm finding this whole process needlessly opaque, which is, in commercial terms, a bit bonkers - demystify it more and more people will want their own domains, which will stimulate demand for domains, which, after all, is why they are in business in the first place - especially as it seems so cut-throat that I bought my domain for two years for £14.38, the first year being just 99p + VAT.

Once I've got my head around all this, and it's all set up and running I will write a tutorial which I'll publish on my region's website, to which I'll link here.

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