Working From Home? Six Easy Steps to Get Started with Remote Access

Working From Home? Six Easy Steps to Get Started with Remote Access

Now that the entire world is practicing social distancing, working from home has gone from a luxury to a necessity. Companies across the globe have taken the leap to empower their workforce to work from home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Now that your team is working from home, it can be quite confusing to give them access to important documents and networks that are located within the office. This post should shed some light on how it can be done because let’s be honest, remote accessing a device (or network) can be hard.

First things first, Dynamic DNS is the “thing” that solves the issues surrounding Remote Access, but it is often viewed as a complicated process that someone can easily get confused by. Remote access is very common these days. People use it to connect to their home network while away, remote into an office network or computer, view an IP camera while they are on vacation to make sure their house is safe, or even monitor an elderly relative who would like to still enjoy the freedom of living alone.

The most common devices that people remote access are computers, webcams, networks, NAS (Network Attached Storage), DVRs, music libraries, thermostats, or any device that has remote access capabilities.

Follow These 6 Easy Steps to Access your Device from Outside Your Network.

1. First, create your No-IP Dynamic DNS hostname. You can even register/transfer a domain and use our Plus Managed DNS to create a hostname on your very own personalized domain. (i.e. home.yourname.com and officecamyourbusiness.com) If you are a business trying to set up access for many users across your company, you will want to choose Enhanced Dynamic DNS. It will give you the ability to create 25 or more hostnames.

You can do this by creating a new No-IP account. If you already have a No-IP account, log in and go to the Dynamic DNS tab on the left-hand side. Click “Create Hostname.” Type in your desired hostname and choose a domain. Leave all of the settings as is and click “Create Hostname” to save.

2. If you have a Dynamic IP address, (A Dynamic IP Address is one that does NOT stay the same. It could change hourly, daily, or once a twice a year. if you aren’t sure, you probably have one. Another good indicator that you have a Dynamic IP is that if you aren’t paying your ISP for a static IP, your IP is dynamic) You will need to run our Dynamic Update Client (DUC) on your computer to keep your hostname updated with your current IP address.

You can also check to see if your Router or Device includes No-IP as an Integrated DDNS provider. This will make things a bit easier for you. If your router or device supports us, you won’t need our DUC and you can simply enter your No-IP hostname into your device and it will update your hostname with the correct IP address when it changes.

3. Configure the device or service on your local network you want to forward traffic to with either a static IP address or a static DHCP lease. You can do this by going into the admin settings of your router and going to “DHCP Reservation”. You will want to do this so that your device can always be found by the same IP address on the network.

4. Test the device from your LAN. You will have to use the internal IP address 192.168.1.xxx:8080 to test this in your browser.

5. Next, in order to access the device from outside your network, you will need to configure your router to let the traffic through to your device. This is called Port Forwarding. If you are unsure how to forward the ports on your router, you can check out PortForward.com. Please note that Portforward.com is a tricky site to navigate. You DO NOT need to pay for the guides.

Also, if you are unsure about which ports to open, check out this list of the most common ports and their uses.

If you are using a browser and a port other than port 80, you will need to append the port to your hostname, so yourname.ddns.net8080. This often solves many problems and is a step that most people don’t realize they have to do. You can also use our port 80 redirect host type, which will send your hostname to the port you provide us, however, this is designed for web browsers only and won’t work correctly for applications or games.

**If your ISP blocks port 80, you will need to use a different port. You will then need to use the Port 80 Redirect feature (turn this on via modifying hosts) this will let the traffic go through on port 8080. You will not need to append the port to the end of your hostname.**

6. Lastly, test your port connection from outside your network. You can do this by visiting portchecktool.com. Type the port in that you just forwarded. It will tell you if the port is open and accessible from outside your internal network.

Remember, opening and forwarding ports on a router effectively expose your internal network to the outside world. You should only open the ports that are needed to get your devices to work and always make sure your computers have all the latest patches and security updates applied in order to minimize the possibility of someone compromising your network.

If you find that your device is accessible from within your network, but not from outside, it is probably a port forwarding issue. Our suggestion to you would be to redo that section. If it is still not working, open a Support Ticket and we will try to troubleshoot the issue.

Have you set up your own Remote Access to your network? What kind of device did you configure and why? How much money has our Dynamic DNS saved you over the years, compared to using an insecure cloud solution?

Have any questions or comments? Leave them below. Having trouble getting your device and network configured?  Give us a call or open a support ticket.

A Note From Our CEO – COVID-19 and No-IP

At No-IP, our hearts go out to everyone affected by the coronavirus (COVID–19) pandemic, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our employees and our community.It is because of this that we have decided it is best if our team works from home so we can do our part to prevent the spread of the virus.

Please understand that there should be no service disruptions because of this change. Our teams will be operating at the same service level as if they were in the office. Our Customer Support team will also be working the same hours as usual. This means that if you need help or support, our award-winning team will be here for you as always.

For over 20 years, No-IP has been offering top-rated Dynamic DNS and Managed DNS services to our customers. On behalf of the entire No-IP family, I want to thank you for putting your trust in us and supporting a small business. We’re committed to working through these challenging circumstances with you together.

Dan Durrer
CEO and Owner

Master Dynamic DNS in 5 Simple Steps

master dns

Chances are you found No-IP when looking for a way to access your device remotely. Or maybe you had a friend refer you to us because you were using an expensive static IP address when all you needed was Dynamic DNS. Whatever the case may be, Dynamic DNS can seem like a complicated thing to master. But the truth is, Dynamic DNS is very simple and you can be a Dynamic DNS expert with these 5 simple steps.

1. Create A Hostname

The first step to being a master of Dynamic DNS is to sign up for a No-IP account and create an easy to remember hostname. This will be the way you connect to your device from now on, so make it short and easily identifiable. Often times, you will have more than one device you want to connect to and you can use the same name for more than one device on the same network. However, if you want to be able to distinguish which device is which, we suggest using names like, camera1.ddns.net or outsidecamera.ddns.net. Use anything that will help you remember which camera or device you are connecting to.

2. Keep A Dynamic Update Client Running

Running a Dynamic Update Client is a necessity when using Dynamic DNS. The Dynamic Update Client works by checking your IP address every 5 minutes and then, once it has changed, pushing an update to the Dynamic DNS provider to update your hostname. When your IP address changes, we connect the new address to the hostname you have attached to that device. Your device stays online and you don’t have to remember a new IP address ever again.

3. Use Your Hostname Like An IP Address

Your hostname is your new IP address. Before Dynamic DNS you could only connect to your device remotely if you knew what its current IP address was. Now, instead of entering 127.0.0.1, you just enter camera.ddns.net into whatever application you use to remotely access that device. This also means you can give family and friends access to things like your Minecraft server using an easy to remember hostname.

4. Don’t Let Your Hostname Expire

Your hostname is the key to your connection working correctly, so it is important to make sure it never expires. To do that, you will have to confirm your hostname via a link sent to your email every month. If you don’t, your hostname will expire and will be available for use by someone else. Once it expires, you will no longer be able to connect to your device using that hostname and will have to go through the process of adding a new hostname and reconfiguring your device. If you are unable or don’t want to manually update your hostname every month you can upgrade to No-IP’s Enhanced Dynamic DNS, to eliminate the need to update your hostname every 30 days. You also get additional features like the ability to create advanced records like TXT and SRV and you can create as many as 25 hostnames (and even more if you need them).

5. Use a No-IP Integrated Device

No-IP is integrated into most devices, but you may want to make sure we are enabled in a certain device before purchasing. It is a safe bet to say we are in most Netgear and Foscam devices. You will want to check, however, because if No-IP is not integrated you will need to run our Dynamic Update Client on a computer that is always on. There are workarounds like the Dynamic Update Client, but for people who are just beginning to use Dynamic DNS, we suggest using an integrated device.

Dynamic DNS is an easy to use tool that will give you the freedom to remotely access your device from anywhere. By following these 5 simple steps you can master Dynamic DNS and know you’re always connected to what is important to you.