How to track a computer's changing IP address when away?
February 5, 2008 5:08 AM   Subscribe

How can I remotely track my home computer's IP (which lacks a static IP address) when away?

My home DSL connection lacks a static IP, and the address tends to change from time to time. When away, I'd like to access my Windows XP computer via FTP, Remote Desktop, and some other applications.

Are there any utilities which can "announce" IP changes on my home computer so I can alter IP settings when trying to access it remotely? (I'm imagining something which shoots out a terse message to an email account periodically with the current IP address.)

But there are probably more elegant solutions... how do people resolve this problem without paying extra for the static account?
posted by Auden to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Any of a billion dynamic dns services should do it. I use
posted by duckstab at 5:14 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

i use dyndns as well.
Before my airport extreme, i had a linksys router with dd-wrt and it could automatically log in and update my host info automatically.

And you won't be e-mailing anything to yourself. You'll set a hostname for yourself (like and just RDC/FTP to that.
posted by ijoyner at 5:56 AM on February 5, 2008

dyndns, hopto, or indeed any sort of dynamic IP address. Setup an address like:

And any time you want to know your IP address, just ping

Alternatively, ask your ISP for a static IP. Some do it for free, some do it for a very small amount of dollars per month. My ISP in the UK gave you up to 4 free. TekSavvy in Canada charge $2/month for a static IP.
posted by gaby at 5:59 AM on February 5, 2008

Response by poster: thanks, everyone! I knew there must be a simple solution I was ignorant of.
posted by Auden at 6:07 AM on February 5, 2008

Most routers, if you're using one, have built-in support for the largest services like I know for sure that Netgear and Linksys routers do.
posted by qvtqht at 6:24 AM on February 5, 2008

If looking into a way to do this no cost, you could alternatively run an IM client that shows IP addresses. Create an account for your PC, check with the other. I believe ICQ allows this. Just like dyndns, all you're doing is monitoring a session (though for the price dyndns is fairly convenient)
posted by samsara at 7:22 AM on February 5, 2008

samsara, is free for everything i've ever used it for - - i think most of the other ones are free too.
posted by duckstab at 7:55 AM on February 5, 2008

You could also make an automator script (if it is a mac) that emails the ip address every hour. That is what I did when I had DSL.
posted by ooklala at 8:33 AM on February 5, 2008

duckstab, thanks for that info! The last time I checked dyndns (and dynip) was almost 10 years ago.
posted by samsara at 9:33 AM on February 5, 2008

FWIW, I've used the similar No-IP for several years with no problems. All these sites pretty much do the same thing.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:10 AM on February 5, 2008

I have used IP Address Publisher though there are others around that may be better by now.

I used it running as a service (so if it stops you can set it's service recovery or restart itself or reboot) and just had it FTP update to a web page provided free by my ISP that I could always get to and plug in to the app I was using to connect.
posted by clanger at 3:40 PM on February 5, 2008

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