DNS, What???

More often than not, when I tell people what the company that I work for does, they look at me with a blank stare and a trivial look on their face and say DNS, What… They still seem utterly confused after I try to explain what DNS is and how they are most likely using it everyday.  These people usually just pretend like they get it and walk away, but do they really get it and what’s so hard to “get”?

We have touched on what DNS is quite a few times, but we still get the inevitable comments on surveys and blog posts that people are still very confused.  One person actually compared DNS to buying a bottle of air, open it and there is nothing inside, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

DNS redirects an IP address, to a static domain name.  So if you want to visit www.no-ip.com, you type the domain name into your browser, not the IP address.  If not for DNS, you would have to remember every IP address of every website! With over 300 million websites on the web, remembering every IP address would be utterly impossible, well unless maybe you’re Kim Peek: The Real Rain Man.

In addition, the transition to IPv6 will make remembering IP addresses even harder! IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long compared to 32 bits of Ipv4 addresses.

They look something like this: 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1. That’s a lot if numbers to remember! (I can barely remember my phone number!)

So, next time someone asks you, WHAT the heck is DNS?! You can tell them that it is indeed more than just bottle air.  It makes visiting websites by a domain name, possible!

Have you ever had someone look at you confused when you mention DNS? Also, if you like this article, be sure to share it with your friends via Facebook and Twitter!

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!