Managed DNS Services

What is DNS & Dynamic DNS?

The techy stuff broken down into laymen’s terms.

What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name Service.

It’s like the white page directory for the Internet. You supply a name, DNS supplies a number. The name in this case is specifically a hostname and the number is an IP address. Without DNS you would have to remember every IP address of every website you want to visit. 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.

What's the difference between a hostname & domain name?

The term hostname refers to the unique part that identifies a host on the Internet.

In, www is the hostname. In that same example, is the domain name. The host portion prepended to the domain name is often referred to as the hostname and that is how we use the term here. So, in summary, www is the host, is the domain, and is the hostname. Hostnames are often used to mark different locations, or internal pages on a website (for example:

What's an IP Address?

IP stands for Internet Protocol.

An IP address is a unique number that allows computers to locate each other on a network. The Internet is a big network and uses IP addresses to route communication to the proper host. The IP in IP address stands for Internet Protocol. An IP address looks like this:

So wait, how does this even work?

Remember, DNS looks up hostnames & returns IP addresses.

When you type in a hostname, say, your computer checks with a DNS server provided by your ISP to find the IP address for that hostname. Your ISP may already know the IP address for and it will just reply with it, but if it doesn’t, it knows how to find it on the Internet.

First, it will ask special servers that already have IP addresses for for the authority of These special servers are called the root servers. The root servers know what IP address has the information your ISP is looking for. Then it is just a matter of your ISP requesting the IP address and returning the results to your computer.

Here is a analogy. Imagine you live in California and you want to find my phone number in New York. Your phone book couldn’t possibly contain all the possible names and numbers that you may want to look up, but it could contain a number to call to do lookups for New York. You consult your phone book and find New York’s

number and call it, asking for my number. New York is a big place. So it breaks down the lookups by county. It knows what county I’m in and get the number and returns it to you and no one has to carry around every single name to phone number mapping in the world.

Why do I need it?

Have a dynamic IP address, but want to run a server or access your computer remotely?

No-IP takes your dynamic IP address and points it to a static hostname or subdomain. With our Free Dynamic Update Client installed at the location, No-IP checks for IP address changes regularly. When your IP address changes, we update your hostname with the correct IP address. No downtime necessary.

What else is there to know?

When you choose us, you choose the best.

When you choose No-IP as a dedicated managed DNS provider, your website's DNS is not only hosted at 2 locations, it is hosted at 11 locations across the globe. This means that if there is some sort of outage, your website won’t experience any downtime. The main complaint of downtime is how much it can potentially cost a business. If your website handles e-commerce, or you take in a great amount of leads and new customers from your website, you should really think of adding a managed DNS provider. How much would downtime cost your business?

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