Can I fake a fixed IP address?
December 10, 2003 9:10 PM   Subscribe

Can I fake a fixed IP address? [more inside]

I am in the process of setting up a new server at work which will, among other things, act as a Terminal Server to provide staff with remote access to our network. The problem is that we do not have a fixed IP address on our Internet connection (we can get one, but it costs at least $100 per month extra) and our provider disconnects us at least once a day, which means that our IP address changes at least that often. We are using a D-Link DSL-504 ADSL router to connect to the Internet and the new server will be running MS Small Business Server 2003. The solution we have come up with so far is to run a script on the server that sends the current IP to a web page, requiring staff to open that page and paste the current IP into the Terminal Services client to connect. Does anyone have a better idea?
posted by dg to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
no-ip.com
posted by machaus at 9:19 PM on December 10, 2003


You can't fake a fixed IP address, however you can do a couple things:

1) Use a dynamic DNS service to assign the machine a name, and install a client for updating the DNS name when the IP address changes. (This is what No-IP is; there are tons of others. I currently use DynDNS.)
2) Use the embedded (ActiveX) Remote Desktop client to put the desktop session itself in the Web page, rather than just the IP address, and have your script update that page.
posted by kindall at 9:35 PM on December 10, 2003


TZO.com is a paid version of DynDNS and the like. You could get a domain that was always pointed at your workplace box, like "companyname.dynamicservice.com" that people could remember. If I remember correctly, TZO even offers real domain mapping to dynamic addresses (I don't know how they re-route names so fast), but you could then do workbox.yourcompany.com through them.
posted by mathowie at 9:55 PM on December 10, 2003


No-ip.com is a very good service, and they have a client program that will keep updated with your dynamic IP. Free, fast... only problem for you, being a business, is the names you will be working with. Not exactly professional, yet free.

Such as

company.counterstrikeserver.net
company.noip.com
the list goes on...
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:00 PM on December 10, 2003


The names are not really important, as it is only staff who will be using the log-in, although it would be easier to remember if it was part of our domain in some way. The main thing is to provide a consistent way to connect, which the above seem to do. I am pretty new to Terminal Services - would it be possible to enter something like network.ourcompany.com into the Terminal Services client and have a URL redirection from there to ourcompany.noip.com?
posted by dg at 10:40 PM on December 10, 2003


I dont know, but you could assign different host names to different ports.
posted by Keyser Soze at 10:42 PM on December 10, 2003


I suppose you could do a CNAME domain record to bounce over to the free dynamic IP host. That's probably how this works at TZO.com.
posted by mathowie at 10:44 PM on December 10, 2003


I can set up the re-direction easily enough so that network.ourcompany.com points to ourcompany.noip.com in the DNS, but I wondered if this would screw up the Terminal Services client in some way?
posted by dg at 11:21 PM on December 10, 2003


dg, as long as you can ping it and reach your company's server, all services should map to it just fine.
posted by mathowie at 12:08 AM on December 11, 2003


Also:

D-Link's latest firmware actually has built-in Dynamic DNS Forwarding functions. I think this includes the DSL-504. Certainly does on my DI-604 and DI-614+.

In you router's set up (192.168.0.1 by default), go to Advanced > DDNS. You can tell it settings for your DynDNS.org, TZO.com or dhs.org account, and it'll automatically update your ip - no need for client software on a PC.

Latest firmware for the Australian D-Link DSL-504 (I'm under the impression that US and European firmwares won't work on the Australian one, since the US ones won't work on my European hardware) is here.
posted by armoured-ant at 2:59 AM on December 11, 2003


I love threads like this one. I am also grateful for the info.
posted by thirteen at 6:41 AM on December 11, 2003


what thirteen said. I just set up a DynDNS.org account - combined with my Linksys router, it was incredibly easy.
posted by stonerose at 8:26 AM on December 11, 2003


Thanks and more thanks go to those who have supplied information and it looks like the solution will be to use one of the services above, either with the firmware upgrade for the router or the client software updating the IP. It seems that I have been looking for a complicated solution to a simple problem. Once everything is set up, I will report back on how it all worked.

Thanks again.
posted by dg at 2:46 PM on December 11, 2003


Yay!
posted by armoured-ant at 8:19 AM on December 12, 2003


For anyone still around, I ended up going with no-ip.com and using their client to keep the company.no-ip.com subdomain updated. I tried DynDNS first, but found the work involved in configuring the clients (and there are a huge array of them) that I tried was too much compared with no-ip.com's. All I needed to do after signing up for an account was download and install the client, then set it to run as a service and it was away. It automatically found the router and just started chugging away at polling it every 5 minutes and sending the new IP to no-ip.com if it had changed from the last poll. Re-directing remote.ourdomain.com to company.no-ip.com has not worked for some reason, although I can ping it, but this was no big deal (more to make the server location easier for staff to remember).

The worst part of the whole exercise was finding that the Intel RAID chipset on the server's motherboard is not compatible with Small Business Server 2003 (after re-installing twice) and having to go back to SBS 2000. Everything installed fine but, when it came to setting up the Active Directory, it refused to recognise the RAID array as a valid NTFS volume :-(

Again, thanks to all those who helped and I hope I can return the favour some day.
posted by dg at 3:18 PM on December 20, 2003


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