How to set up a dynamic DNS (DDNS)

What is a dynamic DNS #

(Dynamic DNS) A service that lets anyone on the Internet gain access to resources on a local network when the Internet address of that network is constantly changing. Such resources are typically a Web server, Webcam or a PC for remote control operation.

Why do you need it #

You would use a DDNS so that you could type a web address into your address bar and be able to access the vidiot program from another computer OUTSIDE of your dropzone network. For example, if you were at home you could type your DDNS into your browser address bar and use the Vidiot system just like you were using it at the dropzone. This is not the same as a remote access tool, such as No Machine or iDRAC.

How do I get a DDNS #

I would use NO-IP. They seem to be pretty popular and integrate well with most routers. They allow you to get DDNS for free, however, you have to renew it every month or it expires. They will send you a renewal notification every month. Go to the NO-IP site, create and account, and create a DDNS. No-IP will automatically assign you an IPv4 Address.

NO IP Dynamic DNS

Configure Your Router #

Once your DDNS is created you will need configure your router to use it. First you will need to set up the DDNS account info on your router. Second you will need to set up Port Forwarding. You set this up on your router at the dropzone. Access it by typing the router IP address into your address bar and then logging in. If you don’t know the router’s IP address try Googling your router name and default IP address. It will likely be 192.168.x.x where ‘x’ is a 1-3 digit number.

Configure DDNS #

This is usually just inputting the DDNS address you have set up. For example, www.skydivesoftware.ddns.net. And also inputting your NO-IP username and password. Look for a Dynamic DNS menu item once you have logged in to your router. Do not share your dynamic DNS with anyone you don’t trust.

Port forwarding #

You will likely have to set up some sort of port forwarding as well. Since we are trying to access the Apache module on the dropzone computer the default internal port for Apache is 80. The external port can be set to 80 as well. Once you set the ports you will need to choose the local IP of the server computer on your network or simply choose the device name if your router presents you will a list of connected devices. If you have not set up a static IP for your dropzone server computer yet I strongly suggest you do so.

Accessing the Vidiot from a DDNS #

After you have your DDNS and Port forwarding set up type your DDNS into your address bar and you will now be directed to the Apache root folder on your sever computer. It may not work of you are trying to access the sever from the server. Try turning off Wi-Fi on your phone and accessing the DDNS to test it.

If you type your DDNS into your address bar plus the folder name where your Vidiot files are stored you will able to access the Vidiot program remotely. The computer you are trying to access needs to be ON.

For example:

https://skydivesoftware.ddns.net/vidiot/

Where a DDNS is useful #

If you are sending out sharing links from a location other than the DZ you may want to use a DDNS. This allows you to use the Vidiot program to send out sharing links without having to install the XAMPP and the Vidiot files on the remote computer. For example, say you just woke up from a bender at a strangers house and wanted to use the stranger’s computer to send out sharing links. The DDNS would be a good application for this. You could also send out sharing links from your own house without installing XAMPP or the Vidiot files on your own computer.

Where a DDNS should not be used #

Do not use this DDNS to try and upload video or photos from another location. Although it may work it will be painfully slow as you are not limited by the speed of you internet.

Dynamic DDNS and No Machine #

If you have not yet read the doc about No Machine in this documentation guide please do so. No Machine is a FREE remote access tool. It allows you to access computers remotely. You can use your DDNS to help set up No Machine.