Using a Hostname Instead of an IP Address
Let’s face it—dealing in “raw” IP addresses is tedious. Under the hood, your home router is itself a DHCP client of one of your ISP’s DHCP servers. This means that your router’s public IP address is likely to change at any time, which will immediately break your home-based Minecraft server.
I would much rather share the Minecraft server connection name
than share this:
Believe it or not, it is both easy and free to make this happen for your home-based Minecraft server. To do this, we need to create an account with a Dynamic Domain Name System (DDNS) service. These are the two companies I recommend:
- No-IP (http://noip.com)
- Dyn (http://dyn.com)
Understanding DNS and DDNS
DNS is a TCP/IP network service that translates user-friendly hostnames into IP addresses. For example, if you type
into your browser’s address bar, the DNS server with which your computer is associated attempts to resolve the fully qualified domain name (FQDN), servers.minecraftforum.net, into the IP address of that particular web server.
The hostname part of the previous FQDN is “servers”; the domain name is “minecraftforum.net.” The specifics of DNS name resolution are far outside the scope of this book; for our purposes, all you need to know is that companies like No-IP and Dyn will map an FQDN to your router’s public IP address, and even adjust the mapping on the fly when your router’s public IP changes.
Setting Up No-IP
We’ll use No-IP in this example, but all the services work about the same.
In Figure 4.14 you see that your players can now add your public Minecraft server to their client’s server list by using a DNS name instead of a clunky IP address.
FIGURE 4.14 Your users will appreciate you for advertising your online Minecraft server with a hostname instead of an IP address.