Dynamic DNS

Over the past several years as I have built, twisted, bent, and rebuilt my home lab environment, I have always used dynamic DNS to keep coreyblair.us pointed to the right address.

Dynamic DNS is a service that when an internet service provider changes a host’s ip address, either the host or a device residing behind the host notices the change and notifies the registered DNS server to the new ip address. This system is crucial for residential internet circuits where DNS resolution is needed and a static ip isn’t available or costs money.

In the beginning when I was using a Netgear router with DDWRT, my choices were limited to just a few providers. The logical choice was the free choice which was freedns.afraid.org. The great things about FreeDNS are that it’s free and it is built into just about any device that handles dynamic DNS updates. I used it for years and never had a problem. It’s solid.

Here recently I’ve been looking for a change. The biggest reason was to see if there was something faster and just a little prettier. Freedns.afraid.org’s web GUI leaves a lot to be desired as far as cosmetics go. The big thing is speed though. DNS can play a crucial role in the overall online experience. I’m always looking for an edge, especially when it’s free.

After some research of the different options, Cloudflare seemed to have the best of everything I was looking for. It took a little while to wait for the DNS switch at the domain register but not at all laborious. Once the change propagated down, testing was conducted and wouldn’t you know it, things are a bit snappier. The other big win here is that Cloudflare offers DNSSEC which wasn’t at the top of my list but since it’s included then why not take advantage? Looking at their extensive datacenters around the world,b it’s pretty clear that the chances of an outage are slim to none. Cloudflare also has many other features that may be of use down the road.

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the switch was made but so far everything seems to be rocking along. I am very happy with the interface and the speed improvements don’t hurt either.

corey

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