4 Useful DNS Tools You Should Use

Check out these 4 DNS tools everyone should use to make their lives a little less stressful (like that’s even possible). These tools are great for people that are trying to see if their No-IP hostname is resolving correctly.

To use these tools you will use the Dig command in terminal (Mac) or the command line (PC).

Dig is an acronym for “domain internet groper”.  Dig is a useful tool for webmasters and system administrators, it can be used to query DNS servers and fix DNS related issues.  Dig is a part of the BIND DNS software.

Check out these 4 useful DNS tools you should use:

1. Whois

Whois is an easy way to find information on the owner, nameserver, registrar etc. of a domain name. It is useful for getting all the detailed info you want from a domain, assuming the domain doesn’t have private registration enabled.

The Whois command can help you identify the responsible party for a domain. This is useful if you have problems sending to, or receiving from a domain; or if you just want to query the authoritative nameservers for that domain. To use these tools, open up Terminal on your Mac, or command line on your PC.

Type “Whois” followed by your domain of choice and hit enter.

Then type Whois mashable.com and hit enter. It will bring up all of the domain registration information.

2. Ping

Ping checks to see if you can actually reach a server. It is the go to command for making sure that a server is online and functional. You can also use this tool to see if a website is down for every one, or just you.

Type “ping noip.com” and hit enter

To stop this command hit “Ctrl + C”. Ping is a simple way to check if your domain name is resolving correctly.

3. Dig

Dig is a great way to get check records for a domain like A, MX, TXT, PTR and other advanced DNS records. We have done quite a few extensive Dig tutorials. We love Dig!. Check out this Dig tutorial for some cool ways to use it.

You can use Dig to lookup nameservers. NS lookup is useful for quickly looking up name server information, but it usually requires detailed parameters.

Type “dig noip.com ns” and hit enter.

This command will show all of the nameservers associated with noip.com.

4. Traceroute

Traceroute shows you the route (path) that was used to connect you to the IP address or hostname. It will show all of the routers it goes through until it gets to its destination, or it fails. A traceroute also tells you how long each hop to each router takes and if it fails, it will show you exactly where the IP packet failed. Our support staff uses it all of the time to help customers figure out if their hostname is resolving to the correct IP address. This guide will show you how to run your own trace route.

Have any other DNS tools that you find useful? Let us know in the comments!

6 Easy Steps to Remote Access a Device

webcam - nanny cam - remote access with no-ip

Let’s be honest, remote accessing a device can be hard. Dynamic DNS solves the issues surrounding remote access, but it is often viewed as a complicated process that someone who isn’t very tech savvy can get confused by. Remote access is very common these days. People use it to connect to their home network while away, 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, DVRs, music libraries, thermostats, or any device that has remote access capabilities.

Follow these 6 easy steps to access your device from outside of your home 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)

You can do this by creating a new No-IP account. If you already have a No-IP account, login and go to the Hosts/Redirects tab. Click Add a Host. Type in your desired hostname and choose a domain. Leave all of the settings as is and click Add Host to save. (If you ISP blocks port 80, you will need to turn on Port 80 Redirect, but we will explain more about this in Step 5.)

2. If you have a dynamic IP address, 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. If yes, 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 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.noip.org:8080. 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 exposes your internal network to the Internet. 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 a 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.
As always, share this on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

What is Dynamic DNS and what can you use it for??

remote-access

When I tell people what I do for a living, they don’t get it. I mean, they get that I am a marketing manager, but they don’t understand what the company I work for does exactly.

“Oh DNS, yeah no.” I often find myself going into a full blown explanation of DNS only to see their eyes glaze over 30 seconds in.

“Oh, so it’s how the Internet works.”

I chime in and say EXACTLY, but then I continue on to the Dynamic DNS explanation, which is even more coma-inducing.

The easiest explanation I can give is to relate Dynamic DNS to a cell phone. I don’t know anyone’s phone number, I can barely remember my own.

You program your friend’s phone numbers into your phone and you assign their name to that contact. Whenever you want to call “Joe” you just scroll to the contact for Joe and click call. This is so easy, right?

So now we can relate this to Dynamic DNS. What if you didn’t have this easy way to call Joe on your phone, you HAD to remember his phone number? It wouldn’t be too hard, but what if his phone number changed every day or even a few times a day? It would be really hard to remember his phone number. And even if you could remember his phone number, there is no way you could be 100% sure that the number you are calling is right, since it changes so frequently.

This is the problem that Dynamic DNS solves, but instead of on your cell phone, it is for your computer.

If you want to access your computer remotely, or even monitor an IP camera, but you have a Dynamic IP address it can be very difficult.

Wait, let’s back up for a second, what is a Dynamic IP address?
Your IP address is just like your phone number, but it is your computers personal phone number on the internet. It is used by your Internet Service Providers to connect your computer to the Internet. Your computer doesn’t have the same number every day, it has a dynamic IP address, meaning it changes. It could change once a month, once a week, or even a few times a day, but it does change. Dynamic IP addresses are very common since they are cost effective for ISPs.

Since a large majority of people have a Dynamic IP address at home, it can be extremely difficult to always reach your device, because your IP address is always changing. Since you aren’t alerted when it changes, it is very hard to keep track of.

To get around this annoyance, you can use our Dynamic DNS service. Our Dynamic DNS service gives you an easy to remember hostname i.e. yourname.noip.me, (just like when you assign “Joe” to his phone number in your phone) you run a small piece of software on your computer or device you would like to access remotely, and whenever your IP address changes, we update your hostname to reflect that change.

Imagine if your cell phone number did change every day, but your phone knew this and kept track of each person’s phone number, and updated your contact in your phone automatically when a person’s phone number changed. Your connection to your friends would never be lost. This is just like Dynamic DNS, your connection to access your device or computer remotely is never lost.

It’s a long-winded explanation, for a fairly simple service that helps millions of users across the globe stay connected to their devices.

Check out this awesome article to read one customer’s story about how he uses No-IP every day.

Have questions or comments? We love to hear from you, just leave your comments below. As always, please share this on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

The Top 5 Signs You Should Invest In DNS

DNS is an integral component of your overall website strategy. So why should you invest? Individuals and enterprises alike spend valuable resources creating and promoting their brands and forget about managing perhaps the most important aspect of it - their domain name.

These are the Top 5 Signs you should invest in a managed DNS solution.

1. You have ever said, “Our website is up, but you can’t get to it.”

2. You rely on your website for revenue generation. Less downtime= more money in your pocket. Even a few minutes of downtime can end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

3. Your website only has one managed DNS provider, or you rely on your hosting providers DNS.

4. You don’t have a budget to manage your DNS in-house, or the desire to worry about it.

5. If you want your website to be fast. With our 18 points of presence across the globe on our Anycast network, your users will be connected to the server that is located closest to them. This makes connecting and loading webpages on your site faster.

So, why not invest today? Sign up for Managed DNS now to get your domain running in tip top shape.

 

DynDNS Alternatives — No-IP Dynamic DNS (DDNS) Integration

Did you hear the news? DynDNS is no longer offering a free dynamic DNS service.

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