Section One • Background Information on DNS, Dynamic DNS and domain names

Initially, the most common way to connect computers to the internet was with a static IP. An IP is the numerical address of a computer connected to the internet. A static IP is an address which does not change. Since the IP address never changed, a static IP made it very easy to point a domain name to a computer on the internet.

However, there are a limited number of static IP addresses in the world and as they became scarce they became harder to obtain and the cost of obtaining a static IP moved out of the range of most internet users. As a result, internet service providers (ISP's) began to use a system of "pooled" IP addresses which could be handed out at random to computers as they connected to the internet. This system became known as dynamic IP addressing. Connect to your ISP and your computer is assigned a random address from the pool. Disconnect from your ISP and the IP address goes back into the pool. Connect your computer again later and it is very unlikely that you will get the same IP address. Some service providers may even change your IP at seemingly random times, and not just when you connect and disconnect.

This makes it a little harder to point a domain name to a computer using a dynamic connection because the address of the computer keeps changing. However, a solution to this problem was developed and is called Dynamic DNS service. Dynamic DNS service uses software installed on your computer to automatically update your DNS settings on easyDNS with the new IP address - which means your domain name stays pointing at your computer even when the address changes.


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