Dynamic DNS (DDNS) is a cool networking tool technique that even the home user can use to make it easy to reach computer networks without knowing their IP addresses. This tool is very useful for home users that set up a services such as a camera on their network and need to get access to it. It is also very useful to use with remote desktop to get to a home computer that is setting behind a router.
At a very simplistic level, DDNS allows you to name your network on the internet so that you don’t have to remember IP addresses. Your router reports your IP address to a web site running a DNS server to keep your domain up to date with your IP.
There are many different DDNS web sites, but my favorite is Dyndns. This site offers a free service for up to 5 devices. Follow these steps to set up your Dyndns account.
- Go to Dyndns
- Create an account
- Under My Services / My Hosts select add host services
- Next select a Hostname and an extension (mycomputer.podzone.net)
- Select host with IP address under service type.
- Complete the transaction as the site requires.
You are now done with the Dyndns part.
Next, you have to go into your router and set up the DDNS settings. Most new routers on the market now have DDNS capabilities, and most have built in account compatibility with Dyndns. All routers are a little different, but essentially you need to put the hostname you picked on Dyndns into the hostname field, give it your user name and password, and tell it to update when your router changes its IP.
After everything is setup, every time your router changes IP addresses it will report the change to dyndns and instantly update your hostname. So you never need to know your IP again, just the Hostname you picked.
Getting into your home network will also require some port forwarding, but that is another article. Just remember, most ISP’s block port 80 on your modem unless you pay to have it unblock. They do this so you can’t run a web server from your house without giving them extra money. Using port forwarding in your router you can get around that to access your computers remotely.
There has been mass speculation surrounding the 4g iPhone leak that has recently hit the news. Did Apple leak its own phone in a super secret marketing ploy to create buzz around the new 4g phone. At first, when I heard this story, I thought that this could be a ploy by Apple to create buzz. But, the more I think about it, I don’t think so. Apple prides themselves on keeping new products secret until the release. This marketing strategy has work very well for them, even as recent as the iPad release just a few weeks ago. Many Apple users will buy any new Apple products as soon as they come out, even if it is just changing the color of a laptop from white to black. Apple creates buzz around its products by shrouding them in secrecy not showcasing them before they are finished.
In the past few years Apple has mastered the art of being at the edge of technology releases with products that have few technical problems and are easy for any user to operate. It seems that companies then follow Apples lead and try to come up with competing products. I am sure that Apple would not want its competitors to know that it is placing two cameras in its new phone, even though it does make sense. The launch of the 4G networks by AT&T and Verizon are truly going to change the way we use our cell phones. Do not compare the current Sprint 4G WiMax solution to the LTE 4G solution the other carriers are deploying. They are like night and day. The AT&T and Verizon 4G solutions are boasting speeds faster than most cable modems. Speeds of over 50Mbs are possible on a 4G phone. None of the companies want the others to know what their devices will look like, or are capable of.
Apple has been very successful with its current marketing strategy, I doubt they would change something that is working so well.
Do you ever get a call from a friend, relative, or co-worker that need help with their computer. Any time that I help a person with their computer I set up a great free piece of software on their computer called Team Viewer. Team Viewer is a free remote desktop type program that allows you to control a persons computer while they can still see it. It is similar to PC Anywhere, but it is free and very easy to use. With features in the latest version you can also keep track of all the codes you have installed on their computers. This gives easy access to help your friends out in a bind. Setting up is easy and takes no networking experience, Team Viewer is also very good at getting through firewalls and proxy servers to give access. I use it frequently to help members of my family with computer issues. This program also allows them to see what I am doing to help them out in the future. Make note that Windows 7 Home does not have remote desktop capability, this gives you access into those machines, a feature I use frequently on my laptop at home.
Beyond helping a friend, this program also has a quite robust advanced feature package. One feature that I really like is the offline local IP setting. This can be used to connect to computers from with a local network with no outside internet connection via the local IP address.
There are different levels of login access you can set within this program. The software can be installed as a service, in which the login credentials are static allowing the remote user to login upon boot up or any time there after. Or, a user can initiate a session from their desktop and a unique password is generated each time. In this example the user opens the software and gives the unique login information to their remote user over the phone. The pass code will expire as soon as that session has been completed.
The benefit of this free product is in it’s simplicity. Team Viewer Website Link