A customer called me the other day about a problem with viewing his DVR from his iPhone. The man had previously setup his system months earlier, but now he was having a problem connecting to the DVR. After describing his problem a little, I instantly knew exactly what his problem was. His IP address had changed because it was a dynamic IP address. This problem is very common and also very easy to solve with DDNS or Domain Name Service.
An IP address is like a home address or telephone number for your computer on the internet. Dynamic and Static IP addresses are identical addresses (numbers) that are used to communicate between network capable devices. However, unlike static (unchanging number), dynamic IP addresses frequently change. The reason for the change for the external dynamic IP address is handled within your internet service provider (ISP).
What is DDNS?
Since an IP address is very similar to a telephone number, the DDNS (the equivalent of a telephone operator) helps map the Internet Domain Names to the intended IP addresses. DDNS, or Dynamic Domain Name Service, is used to update your DNS, in real-time, and point it to a changing IP address or dynamic IP address. IP, Internet Protocol, is the principle protocol that is used to connect the pocket of data, information, through the interconnected web.
How Does it Work?
Dynamic DNS can be a very useful and reliable tool for your DVR security system. Besides the customization of the Internet Domain name, Dynamic DNS could be integrated into your DVR or PC DVR. For older DVRs that lack DDNS integration, you can still reap the benefits and reliability of DDNS by running it through a PC that is on the same network. Dynamic DNS can be found on many websites on the internet and 2mcctv has one of its own. Just like 2M, many of these websites rely on client software to constantly monitor the changes within DNS and register the updated Public IP address, all in real-time. Your Dynamic DNS service provider will provide you with login information (username and password) and the ability to create your own Internet Domain name. The Internet Domain name is the name people see when they go to your website, but the reality is, there are dedicated DNS servers constantly linking that Domain Name to a Public IP address. After creating your own unique Internet Domain name (ex. yourname.dyn.2mcctv.com), the Dynamic DNS service provider will link your ever-changing Public IP address to your new Domain Name.
Why do I need DDNS?
Normally, ISPs charge monthly fees that range anywhere from $10-$20 for the right to lease their limited pool of Static IP addresses. For a small business or household, it might not be very ideal or economical for them to pay $10 for a single Static IP lease, so DDNS becomes the perfect replacement. DDNS is a system that you pay a one-time low fee or a lower yearly fee for the right to use the Internet Domain Name. After the purchase, the DDNS will seemingly integrate with your Dynamic External IP address and will be linked with your choice of Internet Domain name.
Pros and Cons of DDNS
Depending where you get your DDNS service from, there might be times when you cannot access your Internet Domain name, and this is true for many of the free DDNS service providers. However, 2M DDNS relies on dedicated web servers to create your Internet Domain Name and executable client software that constantly pings the hosting device (DVR) and DDNS’s web servers. Secondly, 2M’s DDNS web access gives you the ability to create unlimited Domain Names for each device which requires remote access, at no additional cost.
Many new routers available on the market will give you the option to host the DDNS’ Internet Domain name and its login information on the router web configuration page. Not only does this save you money via DDNS, but your router will send DNS information instantly and straight to your Dynamic DNS hosting servers.
Static IP addresses come with a hefty price, but are more reliable than DDNS. They also require that you have a dedicated IP address for each surveillance system or device that requires direct connection. That is why, as I mentioned earlier, Static IP addresses are more useful for big businesses versus small, because the quantity of Static IP addresses usually translates to a lower cost from your ISP. Unlike DDNS, Static IP addresses have to be different for each device that requires external access.
Dynamic Domain Name Service is a great utility that takes advantage of the currently used DNS supplied by your Internet Service Provider. DDNS works very similar to current DNS and links Domain Name (website name) to an External IP address or a Public address. DDNS and its service providers are responsible for maintaining, in real-time, the changes that are taking place within the DNS of the Internet Service provider, and as soon as the Public IP address leased to you expires, DDNS in the background will update, giving you peace of mind. Compared to Static, which can be expensive, and when used with the right equipment, DDNS is very easy to use and utilize.