No-IP DDNS services will let you identify your computer with a friendly name like RenegadeMinds.com or YourName.ServeBeer.com instead of a nasty number like 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52. When you go to connect to your remote PC, you then enter the friendly domain name and click OK instead of the nasty number. Compare the following 2 examples:
Which would you rather remember?
Let's go over a few quick definitions for those that may not be familiar with some of the terms used here:
- Internet Protocol - An address conprised of a set of 4 numbers seperated by 3 periods. e.g. 127.0.0.1, or 192.168.0.1. Each number ranges between 0 and 255. An IP address is used to uniquely identify a computer on the Internet. Domain names are used to make the process of finding different computers easier. e.g. RenegadeMinds.com is a domain name.
- Dynamic IP
- A dynamic IP address changes over time. The opposite is a static IP.
- Static IP
- A static IP address never changes.
- Network Interface Card - Better known as a LAN card, these devices are used to help connect computers to networks of computers. The best known network of computers is the Internet. A NIC has an IP address assigned to it.
- Domain Name System/Service/Server - Used to translate domain names (e.g. RenegadeMinds.com) into IP addresses, (e.g. 192.168.0.1). Domain Name Servers provide Domain Name Services to resolve domain names to IP addresses.
- Dynamic Domain Name System/Service/Server - A dynamic domain name server can provide dynamic domain name services. DDNS allows DNS to be constantly synchronized with dynamic IP addresses. Static IP address do not require DDNS, and can use normal DNS. Most home users require DDNS to serve a domain name from their homes.
Don't freak out if you still don't know what all of those mean. The following article/tutorial will help clear up everything that you need to know.
No-IP is a Dynamic Domain Name Service. You can download and install their client software for free but you need to sign-up for their services as well. (They have both free and paid services available. We'll sign up for the free services here, but you can purchase more advanced services from them if you like.) The client software will communicate with No-IP's Dynamic Domain Name Servers and update them with your current IP address. Whenever anyone then wants to get in contact with your computer, they can then use a friendly name like renegade.servebeer.com.
Installing the Client
Go to No-IP and download the No-IP client software. Or you can simply click here to download the client from their site. Double-click on ducsetup.exe
Just click through the screens:
Until you get to here:
Ah... You don't have an account yet. Well, like they say, "NoProblem". You can sign up for a free account here. Do that, check your email, click the verification link, then come back here.
Done? I hope so because you can't continue until you do finish that.
In the screen above, login to your No-IP client. You should see something like this:
There are no "hosts" (friendly domain names) configured yet for you. Click the "here" link to automatically login to the No-IP web site and click the add a host button.
The web page to add a host looks something like this:
Select a domain from the drop-down list (I like the ServeBeer.com domain myself =). Enter a subdomain (I have RenegadeMinds above) and click the Create Host button at the bottom of the page. The defaults shown are correct (i.e. Make sure that DNS Host (A) is selected). I've also checked the Allow Wildcards checkbox above.
You'll get a message on the next page like this:
The host renegademinds.servebeer.com resolving to 184.108.40.206 has successfuly been added to our system. New additions will take up to 5 minutes to become live on our DNS servers.
So, go grab your preferred beverage (hopefully a beer) then come back.
Now, to check that the changes have gone through, open a command window ("Start > Run" then type "cmd" and click OK) and type "ping " followed by your new free domain name from No-IP. See the example below:
And just like they said, your IP address can now be replaced with that nice friendly domain name (renegademinds.servebeer.com in my example).
Go back to your RealVNC viewer and enter the domain name and click OK. I'm going to connect to a remote computer of mine that uses the No-IP service that I've paid for so that I can use one of the domain names that I own.
Again, type your password to access your PC that's running RealVNC (hopefully as a service).
Congratulations! You are now looking at your remote PC that is running RealVNC and No-IP! You can install the RealVNC Viewer on any computer anywhere in the world now and access your PC in a couple clicks.
Here are a couple screen shots:
Above you can see that I'm surfing RenegadeMinds.com on the remote PC computer. Have alook at the next shots:
127.0.0.1 is a special IP address called the "local loopback". It connects to the PC or computer that you are on. So...
I've connected to myself here, and you can see that I've adjusted the RealVNC Viewer to get a lot of "feedback". I'm also going squirelly with the mouse and you can see a little bit of latency there as well. I DO NOT recommend doing this on your PC at all. You may well crash it or crash RealVNC by doing this.
Hopefully you've learned a bit and can now access your PC remotely, or at least setup your PC so that your techie son, friend, or whoever you want can remotely access your PC and help you out with problems.
And don't forget to check out the options available in the No-IP DDNS client. You'll likely want it to run as a service, etc. etc. blah blah blah.