How to still get a free DynDNS account

October 18, 2012 — 53 Comments

What Happened to DynDNS

Sometime around November of last year (2011), the popular Dynamic DNS provider, DynDNS severely limited their free account offerings (See reference link #1 at the bottom of the page). They eliminated new free accounts from being created, citing that users could still get the 14 day pro trial. Pre-existing free accounts were grandfathered in, but with 2 very important restrictions placed on them:

  1. Limited to 2 hostnames
  2. They will expire if not updated every 30 days
  3. Many existing free users found that they were dropped down to two while some had their accounts expired because they didn’t do the update within a month. Needless to say, this upset quite a few people and sparked much debate (See reference links #2,3,& 4 at the bottom of the page). I understand why they did it; they wanted to increase their profits. However, the problem was that there were many how-to guides out there that referenced DynDNS’s free service; there were many hardware devices such as routers and IP cameras that were hard-wired to use DynDNS.

    Today, I’m going to show you a loophole that still allows for you to get a free DynDNS account.

    The Discovery

    While exploring the options of my D-Link router, I came across Dynamic DNS page. Normally, I skip straight to the credentials portion at the bottom where I’ve already got my pre-existing DynDNS free account setup. However, I see that D-Link offers ‘their own’ Dynamic DNS. See image:

    Picture of the D-Link router admin area where they offer their own Dynamic DNS

    Click image to see larger view

    I was curious to see if their service was any good and what limitations hey placed. Their Dynamic DNS is offered at: http://www.dlinkddns.com/

    I noticed something very interesting when poking around the FAQ and How-to. They say your credentials are usable at www.dyndns.com. See attached screen shot:

    Screenshot of D-Link's FAQ for their Dynamic DNS

    Click image to see larger view

    To me, this says that D-Link’s service is merely a reselling of DynDNS’s service.

    Confirmation

    I created my account and then immediately popped over to DynDNS’s site to see if my credentials actually worked. They did! See image:

    Screenshot of successful creation of free DynDNS account

    Click image to see larger view

    In fact, not only did I have a free DynDNS account, I actually have access to ANOTHER free hostname. As you see in the above picture, it says I’m using 0 of 1 hostname, even though I’m already using one. D-Link’s FAQ only has one question/answer and it states that you can only have 1 single hostname. https://www.dlinkddns.com/faq. Well, I’m here to tell you apparently that’s not true. You can use DynDNS’s site interface to create another hostname; simply click on “Add New Hostname” and you’ll be taken to the setup screen. See screenshot:

    DynDNS free account gives me access to an additional hostname

    Click image to see larger view

    I can tell you that my legitimate, free, grandfathered-in DynDNS account doesn’t have that option. Also, once I add another hostname, the link for creating more hostnames goes away.

    I have a few notes of interest: Using D-Link’s DynamicDNS is probably only for people who purchase and use their D-Link brand routers, though it doesn’t actually state that anywhere. I don’t know if these types of accounts are applicable to the 30 days update rule. I would assume so, as their assumption when they created this deal with D-Link was probably that the accounts would be used for that Dynamic DNS section in the router. This means that all active accounts will be on auto-update from the router.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, you can use D-Link as a proxy for creating not just one but TWO free dynamic hostnames from DynDNS. So long as you keep them updated every 30 days, they should be good. I’ve been using mine to keep a home server public facing using ddclient as my update tool. I know this loophole is one that may close to new users as well, and then at that time I’ll have to branch out to other Dynamic DNS providers; but for now, I can keep creating new hostnames if need be, just use a different email account to sign up at D-Link’s site.

    Personal note:

    I don’t abuse this system. I only have need of 2 Dynamic hostnames, and that’s all I have made: my grandfathered-in account and the D-Link account. However, I like to know that I have means to create more if need be. Options are nice.

    References

    1. http://www.dyncommunity.com/questions/21580/from-dyn-what-happened-to-free-accounts.html
    2. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/12/17/0141213/dyndns-cuts-back-free-dns-options
    3. http://www.turnkeylinux.org/forum/general/20100930/dyndns-alternative
    4. http://michigantelephone.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/dyndns-mostly-discontinues-free-dns-service/

Jacob "Boom Shadow" Tirey

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A linux web hosting administrator, a professional production sound man, and a renegade cop without nothing left to lose.... Ok, that last part is made up. In all seriousness, my passion in life is to help people; whether that be with help running their sites or with their productions. The name 'Boom Shadow' was given to me by a great group of filmmakers called Star Wipe Films. back in 2005 and has been with me since. I hope my site is helpful to you, and if there's something you need, drop me a line!
  • Loshan

    Is this still working?

  • Sudershan

    I have a DSL 2750u and have configured my dynamic domain thru DYNDNS. Whenever the router reboots, it gets a new IP address and this does not get updated on DYNDNS. Can anyone help

  • Torben

    fuck dlink routers now, never buying dlink anymore

  • Ashish Grover

    Thank You. Works Flawlessly!

  • Jammy Dodger

    That loophole has just been closed :(

    Even if you do actually (shock!) own a D-Link device, it asks for the MAC address – even on existing accounts, I just got the email today – and hints it will effectively be a 6 month trial. Be interesting if the packaging of older products suggested otherwise?

  • wolverine

    Thanks Jacob. This is awesome. Working on 8-Aug-2014 from DLink DSL 2750U.

  • blandjerk

    I’ve been using this workaround for about a year now without issues. Unfortunately I just got an email from D-Link saying that everyone will need to verify their serial number and mac address as being a genuine D-Link router in the next 90 days or the dyndns account will be deactivated. 8(

  • Tekurtz

    Nice find. No-IP is good but I need to use dynDNS with one of my routers.
    UPDATE: Only one free hostname is allowed using this method.

  • arajdangol

    still works, 7/3/2014

  • dave

    DynDNS’s is not free

  • slianto

    thanks mate! but now i guess we can’t add more than 1 host?
    i tried click ‘add new host’ but it doesn’t work anymore i guess…
    well no problem.. i could still just create new email for another host.. and reactivate them once a month.. LOL.. thanks ! i need them for my ip cameras!

  • Ben Ritchie

    Except the hassle of having your DNS removed unless you keep pressing the refresh links in emails regularly…

  • Rafael

    Thanks from Brazil!! viva a revolução!

  • KritischeLezer2013

    Works, thanks!

  • slava

    i had d-link 665 mimo router, and you know what? their DNS failed!

  • Marcin

    Thx! Nice trick!

  • Bob

    still working as of 28/5/13 :)

  • joey

    Thanks for the info. Made my life easier.

  • ChasB

    Still Works…

  • fuzzy

    D-Link has recently caught onto this trend. They have published a notice onto their site. It reads:

    Attention: This is a complementary service for D-Link customers only. We monitor this portal carefully, and should we detect that you are not a D-Link customer, your account will be deactivated without notice. If you are not a D-Link user, please see below.

    • http://boomshadow.net Jacob (Boom Shadow)

      You’re right. Very interesting. I’ll have to test to see if it’s an idle threat. There are 2 ways that I can think of that might be used for tracking that:

      1. Inbound link tracking. If they see you enter their site from the link on my page, they /could/ tag your newly created as possibly suspect. But that would require some sort of special account note passed over to DynDNS’s system. That’s unlikely considering it’s making a very special case change to the account structure in their already built system. Plus, you could bypass the whole thing by simply directly going to the URL (type it into your browser).

      2. DynDNS /could/, in theory, watch the automatic updates coming in. If they see it consistently isn’t coming from a D-Link device, they might do something. But, I doubt this one too. There are so many varied devices connecting in constantly, it would add an extra layer of logging to track what device is actually doing the updates. Changes done enterprise-wide like that cost big money. Plus, it would be hard to simply shut down a free account only because it didn’t update through a Dlink router. They still have plenty of legacy free accounts that weren’t part of this Dlink portal.

      My opinion is that it’s probably a written deterrent, but with no real enforcement behind it. Only time will see. I’ll report back if my account is turned off.

      • eXpZA

        Safe to assume it never turned off?

  • Eric Yeh

    thank you! very helpful :)

  • Ric Bayl

    Bang on fella

  • meep meep

    Thanks Sir! +1

  • Paul

    Mate thankyou, my paid service was just about to run out too

  • ernie www.probud.pl

    thanks man! You saved me from changing my behaviors. And that’s a great thing :-)

  • Tom vos

    Hi Jacob, 
    Thank a million! even with my non Dlink router it wordks fine ! can manage IP cams and could even make a second host!   
    I like these nice brainwaves! 

    From The Netherlands, ALmere 

  • Aang Bizril

    Nice post, thanks, you also could use no-ip for free service with ip updater software.

  • NS

    Perhaps a silly question….
    Is this also working with none DLink routers? I have another router, but there is a ddns facility..

    • http://boomshadow.net Jacob (Boom Shadow)

      Yeah, this will work with any device that connects to DynDNS’s network

      • Girishxp

        Hi Jacob, my Router is Cisco, but this link you mentiond is for Dlink only and which does not allow any other brand to register. Please help how can I create account for my Cisco Router. Thanks!

  • Bardcom

    Thank you!  My dyndns domain had lapsed, now I have it back.

  • Gregory oakley-stevenson

    still working!! yay,much better then having to keep changing dns with cloudflare every time i get a new ip.

  • nvic

    Still working as of February 16, 2013. Just created mine :)

  • nvahalik

    I just did this and it worked as expected!  However, Dyn is now limiting this created account to a *single* hostname. 

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IHQE3C5KDDAYA3AI3BXXCR5UFE Joe R

    awesome… set this up flawlessly… will be linking this to my blog

  • Giovanni Schiochet

    It worked for me as well. Thanks a lot for your valuable help, you made my day!

  • http://www.facebook.com/simonesaveriogarau Simone Garau

    genius

  • Mb190e

    I didn’t even know I had that feature in my D-Link Router.  If I’d seen it, I wouldn’t have known what it’s for.  Thanks!!!

  • David

    I don’t know if you will be interested with http://www.dnsquackie.com. it is also a free static and dynamic dns service that’s totally free. might worth checking out. I’m using it for my web-based interface of my home automation project, so far it’s working great.

    • http://boomshadow.net Jacob (Boom Shadow)

       I’ve never heard of that one. Looks pretty cool though. I like how they wrote their own updater clients. Very cool. I’ll definitely have to check them out.

  • DocPC

    Thanks a lot. Works also from DLink cameras, although I have no idea if the camera really updates the DDNS file as stated. I have to wait 30 days…
    Back on February 2013 to see…

    • http://boomshadow.net Jacob (Boom Shadow)

       Yeah, please do. Everything I’ve hear says that the cameras work fine. Their admin interface also links to the dlinkddns.com, right?

  • Antoniogrclpz

    Perfect! Thanks for your work. Very helpfull!
    Regards.

  • Asd

    Bravo!!!!

  • Mad

    Thanks Jacob, I appreciate your findings.

  • http://boomshadow.net Jacob (Boom Shadow)

    @twitter-63515881:disqus  , Its true. I actually was checking out your service in preparation for my next big Dynamic DNS article. I think I’ll end up using it myself. As seemingly easy to use DynDNS was, once they stopped offering any free services, I stopped liking them as much. The Internet is about giving and sharing, not just about making money.

    However, this article was a service piece for those die-hard fans that still want to get in on their system. Also, it provides a free access way for those people that have hard-wired devices that require DynDNS’s service, such as IP cameras & routers. I think if a hardware manufacturer provides a dynamic DNS tie-in, but only for a single provider, that provider should always leave a free option.

  • xPhy

    thanks a lot :D

    • http://boomshadow.net Jacob (Boom Shadow)

       Glad I could help :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/godusesamac Nathan Pierce

    We should make babies. Nerd babies. :)

    • http://boomshadow.net Jacob (Boom Shadow)

      @facebook-1665237029:disqus , well that was un-related but quite hilarious. You’re always good for a laugh man :) Were you ‘drunk posting’ on my site again? :P