Tuesday, May 26, 2015

DDNS - Using Dynamic Domain Name Service in RT-AC68U

           In this post I am going to talk about  DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name Services) which lets you access your network over the internet. This works even if you have dynamic IP.

               your ASUS RT-AC68U router settings page can be accessed from outside network as well. you will use this url (this is the default router settings url in most cases) when you access your router from your Local Network(which I am going to call Home Network). Here is your router's local IP. ASUS router also provides options to access this page via internet. i.e you can access this page from your office to check the Router Status or Download Progress etc.

          If you want to access this router settings page via internet from a different machine, you have to access this page using the url  http://<yourpublicip>:8080 here publicip is your WAN IP address which keeps changing for most of the home users as they are given dynamic IP address by their ISP. We have to pay extra for a static IP. The number 8080 is the port number through which you can access this router settings page from outside network (you can change this in router administration page).

           For non technical users: IP is the acronym for Internet Protocol. IP address is a four part number that gives identity to your network or router when it connects to internet. your home router is the machine that connects you to internet. you can think of your home network as a big house connected to internet via this router. other devices in the internet identify your house using this internet protocol address. so whenever you are connected to the internet, the data that has to be delivered to your house is sent to this IP address. You can think of port number as one among many doors in your home. so by specifying Ip address and portnumber, you are telling that the data has to be delivered at this house at this door.

so the router settings page can be accessed by http://<yourpublicip>:8080

           Please remember this port number and without this port number specified in the url, you cannot access the router from outside network.

Dynamic Domain Name Services (DDNS)

            When you have dynamic IP, it will keep changing and you don't know what will be your assigned public IP.  Even if you have a static ip or dynamic ip, you would not want to remember the numbers to access the router from outside. How to solve this problem? enter DDNS. the ASUS RT-AC68U firmware has options to set up a domain name and it will be linked to your public ip even if you do not have a static ip. as soon as you are assigned a new ip , the new ip is registered against the given domain name and hence you do not need to worry about the changing ip addresses. You can always access your network using the domain name like this from anywhere


In the router settings page go to WAN>>DDNS

                Enable DDNS client and choose the DDNS server from the list. I personally prefer asus.com. In the next field enter the host name with which you want to access the domain name. for example "alicenetwork" and after which your url would be {http://alicenetwork.asuscomm.com:8080}. Click apply and you will get a confirmation message. then you can open a browser window and enter this url and check if it is working( it will work immediately in local network but when you use the url from outside network, it will take sometime for the DDNS entry to be active) .

                 After setting up a Domain Name of your choice, we will have to enable WAN access for the router. for this go to  Administration>>System and make sure Enable Wan access is set. It is always good to set authentication method as HTTPS. if you set this then you will have to use https:// instead of http:// . this will make sure that the data flow between your router and your browser is secured.

if we enable HTTPS then the router settings oage url will be {https://alicenetwork.asuscomm.com:8443}. If you look at the settings, we have set the port number as 8443.

now we are all set to access your network from outside using internet.

            Now you can use this domain name to access lot of features like AiCloud, FTP Server, Download Master etc that Asus's high end routers offer, over internet.You can attach a USB hard drive to your RT-AC68 router and you can enable AiCloud and ftp Servers which let you access the content of your drive from anywhere.You can also enable the download master with which you can add a url to your download master application and the router will download the data from the url to your hard drive attached to it.

            You can access AiCloud, Ftp/Other file servers and download master settings page from Home>>USB Application page.There are mobile applications available for AiCloud and Download Master. I will cover all these features in separate blog posts. DDNS is must (or we can say makes our life easier) to use all these features.

           In the next post, I am going to cover the WOL feature which lets you switch your pc on from other devices in the same LAN. we will also see how to power on your system from ASUS RT-AC68U page and how we can make use of DDNS plus RT-AC68U's WOL utility to power your machine on over internet.