Best Free Dynamic DNS Services (Updated 2014)

Updated Mar 22 2014 with lots of new sites!

What is Dynamic DNS (or DDNS)?

ConnectIn short, the purpose of a Dynamic DNS service is to allow servers without a static IP to host services with minimal interruptions.

For example, people at home with ADSL internet providers may find that their IP is changing every so often. This is because your modem is using DHCP to have an IP address automatically issued to it at time of connection, rather then having a set & specific IP assigned to your account that doesn’t change. If you attempt to host a web server or other services from your home network, you will often find that your IP address has changed and people will be unable to connect to your server.

A Dynamic DNS provider essentially acts as a middle man. You assign them as your websites nameservers and report your IP periodically to the DDNS provider. They in turn route that traffic to you.

For those technically inclined. a Dynamic DNS provider is actually just a DNS service which uses extremely short TTL (time to live) values. So, if there is an IP change, rather then waiting hours, if not days for that change to propagate, it will instead propagate within a minute or two to keep your site alive. Their is also typically software you can place on your server to report IP changes on an automated basis.

Free Dynamic DNS?

Nothing is free!

Well, in this case, it often is. A DNS server requires such little bandwidth that their are lots of people willing to give it away. Some of these are hobbyist sites doing it for fun and the odd donation, and other sites are commercial businesses using the service to generate traffic to sell other products such as domain name registrations, premium accounts, etc.

Port 80 Redirect

Another common problem with home operated web servers is that ISP’s will block Port 80 to prevent their users from running web servers. A common feature of Dynamic DNS services is a port redirect to get around port 80 issues. So, you have someone access your site at www.yourdomain.com, and the service will forward that to some port of your choosing such as www.yourdomain.com:8080, and you can then either listen on this port instead, or have your router set to port forward that back to port 80 of your server.

Owned Domains vs Sub Domains

Although there are plenty of Free DDNS offers, we’ll find that the majority of free services only allow you to create sub-domains under their free service, and using your own domain name is generally not supported. If you are looking for a quick address to point to your home server it might not matter if you have mysite.no-ip.com but if you are intending to host a public web server it may be important that www.mysite.com is supported by the feature set.

Namecheap.com Domain Registrar – Free Dynamic DNS

If you are planning on buying a custom domain anyways that you intend to use with your Dynamic DNS service, then perhaps you should consider Namecheap. They are a highly reputable registrar with great prices (<$10 for .com’s) and their service includes FREE Dynamic DNS routing as part of their DNS hosting package. It may save you the need to muck around with free 3rd party services!

If a free domain name is more your thing, check out our article – Review of the Best Free Top Level Domain Name (TLD) Providers

top choiceGNU Tomorrow’s Dynamic DNS *Top Choices*

DNSExit.com

DNSExit.com is currently one of my favorites of the free dynamic dns services. They offer full DNS hosting for your own custom domains at no cost which is a rare service these days. If you do not own your own domain, do not fret, you can additionally choose to use a free subdomain from their 2 DDNS domain offerings (*.publicvm.com and linkpc.net).

DNS Exit Dynamic DNSPros

  • Supports using your own domain name
  • Full set of DNS entry options (MX, TXT, SRV, etc)
  • Near 100% uptime and 4+ name servers for redundancy

Cons

  • No free port forwarding
  • Interface can be tricky. Sign up process for Dynamic DNS will try to get you to register a domain name with them which isn’t 100% clear is optional.

DYNU.com

DYNU.com is service which boasts a set of free features that easily give it a top spot on this list. For no cost, you can get their dynamic DNS service for both first level and third level domains, unlimited sub domains for your domain, and a number of other server options including url and port forwarding. There is also all the DNS configuration options you could need including setting up MX records and things along that line. It also boasts one of the shortest TTL’s of any of the services I have seen at 90s.

DYNU.comPros

  • Free Dynamic DNS for your own domain name
  • Free Port & Url Forwarding services
  • Short TTL at 90s

Cons

  • Registering your domain creates an “order” and does not result in immediate activation

FreeDNS.afraid.org

FreeDNS.afraid.org is also on the top of my list. It has a bit of a unique and different approach with its dynamic DNS service in that the site is largely community driven. Users are able to sign up and use their own custom domains with the service, BUT, when they do so that domain becomes available to use by all other members. (A user can also opt to use their domain privately as a premium service). The result is that the site has a HUGE pool of domains to create sub-domains from. If you do not have your own domain you are free to create up to 5 sub-domains of any of the domains they have in the user pool.

Some of the domain options have great vanity qualities and are highly memorable, such as “pwnz.org”, “undo.it” or “info.tm”. The options are really virtually endless.

FreeDNSPros

  • Can use your own domain name
  • Free port/url forwarding service
  • Close to 100,000 existing domains available for use
  • Funny and Useful domains (pwnz.org, info.tm, us.to, etc)

Cons

  • Adding your domain gives everyone else access to it

System-NS.com (Beta)

System-NS.com is a new site released in 2013 that is currently in Beta status. During the Beta, users are able to get a free account which allows for full DNS hosting (use your domain) for up to 5 domains, as well as the ability to use the servers as a secondary DNS if you are hosting your DNS elsewhere. There is also a basic Dynamic DNS service offering free sub-domains (all of “system-ns” based names) which seems to be limited to 1 account per user.

The pricing past their “Beta” phase in not quite clear, but if I understand correctly, all accounts created during Beta will receive a lifetime license with the existing functionality.

System NS Dynamic DNSPros

  • Hosted DNS allowing for Dynamic DNS updates through API
  • Up to 5 domains hosted as free service!
  • Use to host up to 10 Secondary DNS

Cons

  • In Beta status, possible bugs (although I didn’t encounter any during testing)
  • Pricing change after Beta ends?
  • Doesn’t include any DDNS update software, just an API which is good, but may pose issues to less technically inclined users.

CloudFlare

CloudFlare isn’t really advertised or known for being a DNS hosting service so I originally missed this gem in my reviews.  CloudFlare’s features work by taking over the DNS hosting of your website and then using their CDN to serve your content geographically and from a cache. However, you don’t have to actually enable any of CloudFlare’s features! Instead just can just use them as a free DNS host as part of their free plan. This includes a 5min TTL which is quite viable for Dynamic DNS and they offer support for the popular DDClient updating tool. One limitation with this service however is that you will need your own domain name. If you don’t have one you can always grab a free domain name from TK/GL/MA/etc.

DNS_Settings_CloudFlare_The_web_performance_&_security_company_-_2014-04-08_15.06.26Pros

  • Completely free DNS hosting, unlimited domains. No premium charges unless you get into some of their advanced CDN features.
  • Low TTL & DDClient for Dynamic DNS support
  • Well established company. You know there is a lot of redundancy and they are going to be around for a long time!

Cons

  • No free subdomain offerings if you don’t want to get your own domain name.

GNU Tomorrow’s Dynamic DNS Notable Mentions

duckdns.org

duckdns.orgduckdns.org is a free Dynamic DNS service offering accounts with up to 4 subdomains of duckdns.org. Optional donations will unlock more subdomains.

A great value added on this site is detailed instructions OS by OS of how to setup cron jobs to use their DDNS update API. They also include instructions for common “micro devices” like raspberry Pi or users on Amazon EC2.

The service is pretty barebones having no support for custom domains, no url/port forwarding, and only 1 domain to choose from for addresses. However, the service they do offer, they nail. Their dedication to simplicity, privacy, open source and maintaining a completely free service for the community have earned them a mention on our list.

no-ip.com

no-ip dynamic dns

No-IP offers a free sub-domain based Dynamic DNS service. They also include port forwarding and url forwarding options which is not found on all other services which makes them a great choice if you’re running a home network with blocked ports. Hosting your own domain name on no-ip is a premium service and free accounts require action every 30 days to keep it alive (via email).

dnsdynamic.org

dnsdynamic.org has a fairly basic DDNS offering allowing you to create unlimited sub-domains from their significant offering of domain name choices. The domain names are mostly utility focused such as “dnsget.org” and “sql01.com”. A unique feature offered by this site which gets them on this list is a free VPN and free HTTP Proxy service! This is quite unique and a great value for a free service. Please note that the usage of the VPN and Proxy are limited and that any P2P or other forms of illegal / heavy traffic are disallowed. The service is meant mostly for web browsing / email and light usage.

changeip.com

changeipwww.changeip.com is another unlimited sub-domain based service. Using your own domain is a premium service at $6/yr. Their domain choice pool is quite large and features a large number of both utility and vanity type domain names. Getting started on change-ip was extremely quick and painless and I had my site up and running in no time at all.

duiadns.net

duia.rohttp://www.duiadns.net/ – Free service allowing up to 3 sub-domain based Dynamic DNS entries. Hosting your own domain is a premium service at 9,90EUR/yr

myonlineportal.net

myonlineportalmyonlineportal.net/ is another site offering basic sub-domain focused Dynamic DNS. As a value add they also have a free HTTP Proxy server for it’s users. This service is ad driven and as such, they have imposed a 1 year life on accounts in which you must visit the site again to renew your account. This seems fair enough, but could pose issues to users if they forget they need to return to the site to keep their account alive.

dns4e.com

dns4e.com offers free hosted DNS for your own custom domains, I believe for an unlimited number of domains but limited to 100,000 hits per month. For a DNS service 100,000 hits a month is plenty, but if you happen to run an extremely high volume website this may not be sufficient. The only thing I found holding DNS4E back is the reliance on the API to manage your account. The website itself is used to create a zone for your domain but then all DNS entries must be added and maintained via the API. There are fairly decent instructions for Linux-based users but the dependency on API calls may be a limitation to some less technical users, or windows users unable to “translate” the linux based instructions.

GSLB.me

cropped-gslb.me-logoGSLB.me offers full DNS hosting free for 1 domain with Dynamic DNS updating options. They also have a fairly unique feature for a free service allowing you to setup geohosts to load balance your server geographically. The service will determine the closest server to the user geographically and redirect the traffic accordingly. This essentially allows you to build your own CDN if you happen to have access / own multiple servers around the globe. I initially had trouble finding where on the website (prior to registering) it actually differentiated free vs premium offerings, but GSLB.me got a hold of me and let me know it is located on there features page. FYI – Registration required full billing information (not including CC / payment) which is significantly more information then is required for 99% of the other free DNS services out there.

Got More?

Please note that all sites submitted have been reviewed but that I won’t be featuring every site on my list in interest of maintaining readability. Sites offering sub-domain only accounts with no value added or significant choice in domain names will be skipped, as well as services requiring you to purchase/transfer your domain registration to them to use.

Please suggest sites in the comments and I’ll continue to review and add sites as we go!

Share on Facebook76Tweet about this on Twitter18Share on Google+15Share on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn7

, ,

About Derek Eatough

Derek Eatough is a professional computer programmer and web developer from Winnipeg, Canada, and is the author of this site.

44 Responses to “Best Free Dynamic DNS Services (Updated 2014)”

  1. No-IP May 20, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Thanks for featuring No-IP! We appreciate it.

  2. Stef July 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Thx for this usefull list, I.m just following up on no-ip comment who were so happy to be mentioned. I’ve been a free subscriber of their service and I think you should also mention in the cons the following :
    Every month you receive mail notice to confirm the usage of your dns redirection, anoying but that s ok. This month I just received a mail saying that my redirections where canceled due to no ip change … With of course a link to a enhanced service to avoid this. This why I search for your blog and this is why I’ll won’t go to no ip anymore.

  3. Krimson July 31, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Thanks for that info Stef!

    As far as I can tell from their site they haven’t removed this as part of their free package…

    I’ll certainly keep your comment here as a warning to others though that they may be up to some shenanigans with their free service.

  4. Hennch August 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Tried the DNS Exit and it appears I’m being charged for a top level domain.
    Second level domains appear to be still free though.

  5. Krimson August 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    As far as I can tell the service is still free.
    http://www.dnsexit.com/Direct.sv?cmd=pricing

    To be clear, the site is offering free Dynamic DNS routing, not a free Top Level Domain. When you register they try to sell you a TLD, but you can skip that step and just use your own. If you are in need of a free domain name there are some options there as well which I was planning to write a small article on eventually.

  6. Alex Tzonkov August 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    I agree with Stef, The NO-IP 30 day rule is no different than DynDNS. I got hit with it this month as well. So I was Googling for an alternative and found this blog. DuckDNS looks promising, I might get a few years out of it if I am willing to use the silly TLD they offer :) But I am not complaining it is truly Free….

  7. winnetou August 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Well, free service of No-IP in not really a 30-day trial, but you have to “confirm” your account every 30 days. They say here (http://www.noip.com/select-account-type.php) that they send you an e-mail with a confirmation link when needed.

  8. Kenich Toudoh September 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    Have checked out https://dns4e.com/ ?

    It has a very simple user interface and REST API to control whole zones for free under 100000 queries.

    Looks promissing to me.

  9. Jim B September 30, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    I have my own domain name through go daddy.com. It doesn’t seem possible to get a free DDNS site to point to my domain. I’m not even certain that I can get a non-free DDNS site to point to a domain not controlled or owned by them. Is this right?

    Anyway I can get any DDNS site to point to a domain that I own through go daddy.com?

    Thanks, Jim

  10. Krimson September 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Any of the sites discussed that allow “Top Level Domains” should work. You’ll just need to follow the instructions of the site you decide to go with. This will generally consist of logging into your GoDaddy account and reconfiguring the nameservers for your domain to the dynamic dns service.

  11. DuckDNS October 25, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Thank you for the mention

    We have also recently added other OAuth login providers, we now offer (Google, Facebook & Reddit) authentication.

    We also now have install instructions for: linux cron, linux, windows, osx, pi, raspbmc, ec2, openwrt, tomatoUSB.

  12. Mauricio October 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    I would suggest including http://www.dnsdynamic.org on the list. I have been using it for a while and besides working fine it is free.

  13. KS October 28, 2013 at 2:49 am #

    Anyone tried https://www.changeip.com/ ? They do have a free dynamic dns with free domain.

  14. Dmitry Prudnikov October 31, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Try http://system-ns.com – we will appreciate any feedback

  15. notrix December 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    i’m using http://www.duia.ro – Dynamic Updates for Internet Addressing, which is not in your list. it’s FREE, supports IPv4/IPv6, has a GUI and console version client and the most important you can update IPv6 addresses of your LAN devices using the console version client on your router; this is the binary i’m using on my Linksys:

    http://www.duia.ro/download/?f=cmipsel

    this is very usefull if you want to access your IPv6 webcam behind the CPE that has its own IPv6 global address.

  16. William December 11, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Good list!

    http://aidyn.net
    Is missing, it’s quite simple and completely free.

  17. Foxnstuff January 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    No-ip has removed features since then. You are only allowed 3 Hosts now. You was used to be allowed 5 or 3 in every domain, they completely removed it so now free users are limited to 3 hosts, and also they charge OUTRAGEOUS prices for enhanced services, for 25 Hosts. You won’t even need the 25 hosts, At most I would of only needed… 5 at most. Just because I wanted to be “organized” with my domains. Now I can’t even do that.

  18. Gerald Schnabel February 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    http://myonlineportal.net is missing – I don’t know if it will be the best – but it’s definitely missing. They support dualstack update with IPv4 and IPv6.

  19. Krimson February 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    Thanks for the comments everyone! I just want to note that I will be doing an update for 2014 with all the suggestions so far.

    Please keep them coming!

    Particularly looking for DDNS providers that support TLD’s for free since that is a bit of a lackluster area so far.

  20. Terrance February 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    Thank you for considering a free DDNS services update for 2014. I can confirm that https://dns4e.com is supporting free DDNS for TLD up to a limit of 100.000 DNS queries per month.

  21. leev February 25, 2014 at 12:41 am #

    i’m using a free account from https://www.duiadns.net. they have a nice feature that updates IPv6 addresses of your LAN devices that cannot run a dynamic dns client.

  22. GSLB.me February 26, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    Another free dynamic DNS service is at http://www.gslb.me, complete with its REST APIs.

  23. liko28 March 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    For a long use FreeDNS.afraid.org definitely the Best, Free, Fast, With a good API, many customers to upgrade and most importantly 100% availability.

  24. Nubem.com March 18, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    Hello
    What do you think about https://nubem.com/dynamic-dns.php ?
    Dynamic DNS comes for free, and you can bring-in your domain name.
    Would you like to try it ? Any comment or suggestion is very welcome.
    Thanks!

  25. H March 26, 2014 at 4:15 am #

    Thanks for the summary.

  26. Jack April 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    DYN just announced that they will be closing their free service in 30 days.

  27. Henry April 28, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    In the section “no-ip.com”, you should tweak “your” to “you’re” or “you are” :)

    “which makes them a great choice if *your* running a home network with blocked ports.”

  28. Craig April 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    ZoneEdit is another free service. They support using your own domain with 5 sub-domains for free. You can also purchase “credits” which give you more features.

    They do support port forwarding and other services.

    Only downside I see is the weak update tool.

  29. Huzefa Akhter June 1, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    IMO, nothing is better than http://www.dtdns.com

  30. Carsten Hiort June 6, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    I am very satisfied with changeip.com
    Have it running now since 4 months and allthough my broadband provider never changes the (dynamic) ip I did not get any nasty mails from them or something. It just works as expected.

  31. Tina Brignac-Judon July 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    I do not mind paying for ddns service. If I can get GREAT ddns service for free then obviously, GREAT! What I would like to see, is a list of the best “paid” ddns services also. And if we could get a graphical comparison grid showing a checkmark or dot next to common pros/cons/features of both free/paid lists, that would be AWESOMER! ;-) (ex-techy-who has a 7 year old distracting every minute! SORRY… ;-) But not really!)

  32. AC July 10, 2014 at 1:31 am #

    Don’t use DNS Dynamic.. their servers go down ALL THE TIME. I use one for a TeamSpeak server and it’s constantly going offline.

  33. Ronald de Vos July 27, 2014 at 6:03 am #

    Thanks for this list – it saved the day.
    After having used No-IP for many years, all of a sudden my account was disabled due to ‘a violation of the TOS’. I phoned and was told ‘Your account has been disabled, therefor you can only communicate with the abuse department’. I send daily emails to the abuse guys and not a single response… So far for service! After a week (without DNS) I tried some of the site you suggested, picked the easiest one (DuckDNS!) and was back up and running in no time!
    Again, thanks for the list!

  34. Roberto August 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Hello,

    Very good analysis on the DDNS service and its suppliers. It seems that it is not possible to deliver the DDNS service for our own, because, usually the router allows to configure only some services, e.g: DynDNS or NO-IP.

    Regards from Chile,

    Roberto

  35. Thomas Waldmann September 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    Nice article!

    As this is *GNU*tomorrow I guess you are interested in free software/services (like in “freedom”), not just in free (as in “free beer”) services with closed source proprietary software.

    We (some people from stuttgart hackerspace “shackspace.de”) developed a FOSS implementation of a DynDNS service and I run an instance of it on https://nsupdate.info/.

    It’s a rather simple & easy thing, but our focus was rather on simplicity, ease-of-use, freedom, privacy, security and decentralization than on adding lots of “value added” features or many domains. It complies to dyndns2 and RFC2136 standards, thus works with many existing client and server software.

    On the service, you can add dynamic hosts to our domain (xyz.nsupdate.info) or even dynamic hosts to your domains (xyz.yourdomain.com – IF you control the dns server of yourdomain.com) there.

    Alternatively, you can also use the nsupdate.info software to run your own service, which might be an added value most if not all the services posted above do miss.

  36. Jesse September 25, 2014 at 7:21 am #

    Duck DNS says they are committed to privacy … and yet in order to sign up I have to use a social media site and allow them access to my social data? #NEXT

  37. Ziad October 4, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    I’m using Duiadns for this very usefull feature (https://www.duiadns.net/ipv6-for-lan-feature) and i have all my IPv6 enabled devices DNS updated. I strongly recommend it!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. DynDNS will discontinue free DNS service on May 7, 2014 – here are some alternatives » TechNotes - April 9, 2014

    […] Best Free Dynamic DNS Services (Updated 2014) (GNU Tomorrow) […]

  2. The end of (free) Dyn | Open Source Web Hosting - April 9, 2014

    […] no longer offering their free dynamic dns service, as of a few days from now! Good thing there are several other alternatives. I’m trying http://www.noip.com/ and http://freedns.afraid.org/ and both seem to work quite […]

  3. Dynamic DNS * Syswan SW24 Loadbalancer | Rich Wildman - April 24, 2014

    […] finding a new Dynamic DNS provider.  This task was easy enough, as there are a number of available free services.  The service I chose was ChangeIP.com.  The configuration is easy enough, as long as you are […]

  4. Tomato on the ASUS RT-AC66U | nelsonslog - April 25, 2014

    […] either. And couldn’t figure out how to use ASUS’ own service from Tomato. I used this guide (possibly spam) to find my way to freedns.afraid.org which is kind of neat and has thousands of […]

  5. Microsoft bloqueia serviço de DNS Dinâmico No-IP e afeta 4 Milhões de usuários | Acesse o Futuro - July 2, 2014

    […] Independente de que lado está com a razão, o fato é que não é a primeira vez que o No-IP está envolvido em uma polêmica, como a Cisco já mostrou aqui. No entanto, não dá para negar a parcela de culpa da companhia responsável pelo Windows no problema. Se quiser entender melhor esse décimo “ataque” da Microsoft aos malware, vale checar o post completo no blog oficial. E caso precise de alternativas – já que, ao Register, a empresa não conseguiu comentar o caso –, ainda existem o Dyn (pago), o FreeDNS (gratuito), entre outras opções. […]

  6. Cinco boas opções para substituir o DynDNS em suas estruturas com ip dinâmico | Br-Sysadmin - August 9, 2014

    […] E para quem quiser uma lista mais elaborada, o pessoal do site GNuTomorrow fez uma análise de vári…. Vale a pena dar uma lida, pois foi onde eu conheci estes serviços aqui que estou indicando para vocês […]

  7. Configurar un DNS dinámico | Esas cosas que aprendo - September 13, 2014

    […] ello debemos crear una cuenta en un sitio que provea este servicio (de manera gratuita o pagando) y en ella declarar un host indicando como […]

Leave a Reply