Got Game? How to Host Your Own Game Server with No-IP

For anyone who plays video games, you are aware of the advantages of running your own game server, (not to mention how cool it will make you among your friends) but you may not know how easy it actually is.  Hosting your own video game server isn’t as daunting of a task as it may sound.  Follow these simple instructions and get started today!

1. If you haven’t already, create and activate a No-IP account.
2. Add a Host to your account

Now you’re ready to fill in the details of your new hostname. Here are the steps to deal with the items on this screen:

3. Fill in the Hostname: box with a name of your choosing. It can be anything you like. If you choose a name that’s already in use, an error will be generated and you can then try a different hostname. Since hostnames are unique per domain, you can try using the same hostname and just select a different domain from the dropdown box below to see if that combination is available.

4. Select an available domain from the dropdown box. Note that certain domains are reserved for No-IP Enhanced customers only.

5. Choose the the Host Type. The default choice, DNS Host A, is usually the correct one. Do not choose any of the other host types unless you’re trying to solve a particular problem that a DNS A record won’t accommodate. If your ISP blocks Port 80 for example, and you’re trying to run a webserver or other service on port 80, then you can choose Port 80 Redirect (at that point you’ll be asked to specify the port to use for the redirection).

6. In the field marked IP Address: you should already see your current IP address. If you wish to set the IP address of the host to be somewhere other than your current location, you can enter that address now.

7. When you have filled in the information for your new hostname, simply click the “Create Host” button at the bottom of the page to save it.

8. Download the No-IP Dynamic Update Client. (If your ISP provides you with a static IP address, you can skip this step)

9. If you use a router to connect to the internet and/or have a firewall in place on your computer, you will need to make sure that it is configured to direct the appropriate traffic from the internet into the destination machine on your network. This is done using a router function called Port Forwarding. You can use any port or whatever is specified by the game software. Just be sure that the ports match at the firewall/router. You can visit PortForward.com for step-by-step guides on port forwarding for your specific router.

10. Next, verify that your router and firewall are setup correctly, you can visit our website at www.canyouseeme.org.

11. You’re Done! As long as the port is visible and your hostname resolves back to your network you should be ready to have your friends join you online to play your favorite video game!

It is important to note that depending on which game you are playing, it will either ask for the hostname and port separately, or it will just ask for the host. You may have to have your friends connect as host.domain.com:portnumber

If you run into trouble, be sure to check our Online Support Guides for helpful information, or leave your questions and comments below!

Options, Can Ya Dig it?

There are so many things that you can use Dig for! We are going to show you some of the options you can use to make your queries a little easier to digest.

+short
Pretty self-explanatory, by adding this to the end of a query, you will only receive the information that you asked for in your answer. So, if you want to know just the MX records of a domain, type the following query into your terminal

dig no-ip.com MX +short

or the NS records
dig no-ip.com NS +short

or just the IP address
dig no-ip.com +short

or the text records
dig no-ip.com TXT +short

+noall +answer or +noall +authority

+noall +answer or +noall +authority will help you get the answers you want, without making your answer as short as +short. You can use +noall +answer or +noall +authority
dig no-ip.com MX +noall +answer
or
dig no-ip.com MX +noall +authority
or  dig no-ip.com (whatever record you are looking for) +noall +answer / +noall +authority

+trace
+trace lists all of the servers the request goes to/through in order to get an answer. Without it, you will just get the answer.
dig google.com +trace

+nssearch
+nssearch will list all of the SOA (start of authority) records of a domain
dig google.com +nssearch

Want to know all of the options?

dig -h will give you the complete list!

Questions or comments? Leave them below!

The Anatomy of a DNS Zone File – Part Two: What are NS Records and Why Are They Important to DNS?

What-are-NS-Records-Important-DNS

An NS record or (name server record) tells recursive name servers which name servers are authoritative for a zone.  Recursive name servers look at the NS records to work out who to ask next when resolving a name.

You can have as many NS records as you would like in your zone file.   The benefit of having multiple NS records is the redundancy of your DNS service.  It is important to note that in order to get the most redundancy out of your NS records, they should be hosted on different network segments.  If they are not hosted on different networks segments and the network goes down, your DNS goes down with it. Check out No-IP Plus Managed DNS if you are interested in redundancy and reliability for your domain.

NS records help to ensure that all of the domains on your server are available at all times. Multiple NS records ensure that your customers are able to reach your site each and every time without any problems, even if one or more of your nameservers are unreachable. (Again only if they are hosted on different network segments.)

An example of this is if your business is located in an area that is hit by a natural disaster and your web servers at that location are down, your NS records will point to an additional name server that is hosted elsewhere (where mother nature has not wreaked havoc) and the customers are still able to reach your site and will never suspect anything is awry.

Another great example is if your website is attacked by a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack your entire website will not be down. Traffic will be routed to the other name server location that has the backup of the primary name server.

Please see the following example of the NS records for No-IP.com
no-ip.com. 73002 IN NS ns1.no-ip.com.
no-ip.com. 73002 IN NS ns2.no-ip.com.
no-ip.com. 73002 IN NS ns3.no-ip.com.
no-ip.com. 73002 IN NS ns4.no-ip.com.
no-ip.com. 73002 IN NS ns5.no-ip.com.
no-ip.com. 73002 IN NS ns1.no-ip.com.

Check out Part 1 and Part 3 of this series:

The Anatomy of a DNS Zone File: SOA Record

Anatomy of a DNS Zone File Part Three: MX Records

 

Questions or Comments? Please leave them below.

 

Why Reliable DNS is Important To Your Business

Imagine, it’s 8:05am on a Monday morning. You log in to your computer and open up your email client, you read through a couple of emails that you received over the weekend and then you decide to reply to one of them, you hit send and…. NOTHING. The email won’t go out! You frantically pick up your phone and dial your IT department.

Across the country, a potential client who found your web URL on your Facebook page or some other type of advertisement wants to visit your site and see what you have to offer.  They try to type your web URL into their web browser, and…. NOTHING. So, they do a quick Google search and find one of your competitors.  Your competitor’s site is working fine, so they spend their money on that site.

Do these scenarios sound like something you don’t ever want to happen? Well, you better make sure that you have reliable DNS.

DNS is essential for many reasons. When a customer wants to visit your website, they type your Fully Qualified Domain Name, www.yourbusiness.com, into their web browser.  Without DNS, your customers would have to remember the specific IP address (i.e. XX.XX.XX.XX) that your website is listed at.  This could be very difficult, especially if your website has more than one IP address that points to that specific URL.  IP addresses can vary across the globe.  The DNS does all the work by redirecting the users to the correct web address, and making sure they are reaching the site that is hosted nearest to them, thereby ensuring that your customers are connected to your site the fastest way they can be and that traffic is balanced across all of the servers.

The location of DNS servers is important in ensuring 100% uptime. We deploy name servers across the globe at geographically unique datacenters using different tier 1 bandwidth providers to ensure a natural disaster or connectivity outage does not disrupt our robust DNS network.

DNS helps direct your emails to the proper servers, redirect customers to the proper domain and ensures that they reach your site the fastest and best way that they can at all times, even if mother nature decides to rear her ugly head.

How has having reliable DNS helped you in the past?

The Anatomy of a DNS Zone File: SOA Record

files-anatomy

Part ONE What is a Start of Authority (SOA) Record and What Does it Do? The first resource record in any Domain Name System (DNS) zone file is the Start of Authority (SOA) resource record. The SOA resource record is an essential part of the DNS zone file, it indicates the basic properties of the domain name server and the zone that the domain is in. Each zone file can contain only one SOA record. The SOA record is broken down into the following fields. (Please refer to the example below: each section is color-coded to match it’s corresponding field definition) ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;no-ip.com. IN SOA ;; ANSWER SECTION: no-ip.com. 565 IN SOA ns2.no-ip.comhostmaster.no-ip.com2036909809 600 300 604800 600

  1. name- The root name of the zone.
  2. TTL- Time-to-Live, is the length of time for when a zone file is set to expire. This is usually expressed in a number of seconds.
  3. class- Defines the class of record. IN stands for the Internet.
  4. name-server: The Name of the primary name server for the zone
  5. email-addr: The E-mail Address of the individual who is in charge of the domain. This is the person that emails should be directed to in order to report errors or problems with the domain.
  6. sn = serial number: The Serial Number for the zone. This number helps keep track of changes that have been made to the DNS zone file. The number has to increment when changes are made. The standard convention is YYYYMMDDnn, where YYYYMMDD is the date of revision and nn is the revision number (in case there are multiple revisions for the day). So, today’s first revision would be 2011030200 and the second would be 2011030201.
  7. refresh: The time a secondary DNS server waits before checking to see if there are changes to the zone.
  8. retry: The time the secondary DNS server should wait before retrying to check if there have been changes to the zone (if the first refresh fails).
  9. expiry: The time in seconds before the secondary DNS server should stop responding to queries for the zone.
  10. min=minimum: The minimum time-to-live (TTL). This value is supplied in query responses by servers for the zone to inform others how long they should cache a resource record provided in an answer.

A properly optimized and updated SOA record can reduce bandwidth between name servers, increase the speed of website access and ensure the site is live, even when the primary DNS server is down. Please leave any questions or comments below… Check out Part 2 and Part 3 of this series:

Part Two: What are NS Records and Why Are They Important to DNS

Anatomy of a DNS Zone File Part Three: MX Records