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Dyn discontinues free DynDNS service to clean up its DDNS network


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Free customers have until May 7 to upgrade to paid service or go somewhere else.

Dyn offers a whole passel of DNS-related products, but the company is most famous for its free DynDNS service: it lets users associate often dynamic IP addresses with hostnames, as long as those users "check in" once a month.

It's a boon for people wanting to slap an easily remembered, fully qualified domain name onto their home ISP connections without dropping the money to actually register a domain—and it's vanishing on May 7, 2014.

Dyn CEO Jeremy Hitchcock posted a blog entry yesterday morning explaining the reasoning behind killing off DynDNS' free tier. The language is a little muddled and the post reads like it was run through a corporate communications department before posting, but Hitchcock explains that the move away from free accounts is due to increased abuse and diminishing value for Dyn.

Hitchcock notes that the change will allow Dyn to spend more time refining its paid service offerings and supporting paying customers. Dyn users who had previously donated money to the company in exchange for free lifetime service are exempted from the discontinuation.

This isn't a sudden change for Dyn; the company has been gradually scaling back its free service for years. According to Dyn's transition FAQ page, existing customers have until May 7 to either upgrade to a "Dyn VIP" account (at what Hitchcock describes as a "significant" discount), or allow their service to lapse.

For users who don't want to pay for dynamic DNS services and who will be looking to relocate from Dyn, there are alternatives: Afraid is a popular one, as is NoIP.

However, DynDNS is by far the most widely used DDNS service at least in part because it's embedded in many routers' firmware to enable automated DDNS updates—and it's often the only embedded option. For users who depend exclusively on their routers and free DynDNS, it's time to start figuring out how to switch.


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