Introduction to DNS

Addresses on the Internet

When you connect to the Internet, whether by dialup connection, cable, DSL, or other means, your Internet Service Provider assigns you an IP address. This is a set of numbers that lets other computers on the Internet get in touch with you. An example of an IP address is

Domain names

Of course, when you connect to a web site or another type of server over the Internet, you usually don't type an IP address to get there. Instead you type something like "" is a domain name, or hostname. A hostname is an easy-to-remember alias for an IP address.

The Domain Name System

DNS, or the Domain Name System, is the system that translates hostnames into IP addresses for the entire Internet. Whenever you type a domain name into your web browser, DNS translates that name into an IP address with which your computer can communicate. Many ISPs and web hosting providers run DNS servers.

How DNS Max fits in

DNS Max runs DNS servers that resolve requests for records under your domain name. DNS Max gives you full control over your domain names. Using our web interface, you can quickly add and modify your resource records.

Using Domain Names


All DNS Max users may manage their own domains or create zones under the domain.

Registering your own domain name

If you do not already have a domain name registered, you may register a domain with any domain name registrar. Algenta Technologies and DNS Max do not provide domain name registration services at this time.

Configure your domain name with your registrar

When registering a domain, you will be prompted to enter name servers for the domain. Name servers are responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses. This is the service that DNS Max provides. If you have already registered your domain, you should be able to modify the domain’s name servers by visiting your registrar’s web site.

Provide your registrar with the following information to enable the DNS Max servers to manage your domains.


Register your domain with your DNS Max account

To configure your domain to work with your DNS Max account, complete the following steps after logging in to your account.

Add your domain to your DNS Max account

Click the "DNS Zones" link on the left side of the screen.

The next page will display a list of your DNS zones, if any exist. A DNS zone is a portion of the DNS namespace (e.g., a domain name) that you have control over. Under the "Create a Zone" section is a box with the title, "Create a zone for your own domain name." Type your domain name (like, without anything like www in front) and click the Create button.

After adding your domain name, it will appear in your list of zones managed by DNS Max. Also, some address records and an MX record will be created for you. You can modify these at any time.

Add hostnames for your domain

After registering your domain with DNS Max, you can manage the zone's records.

Dynamic DNS

If you would like a hostname to point to a computer that has a dynamic IP address, you must configure the hostname as dynamic. You can do this when creating the hostname's record, or by clicking the Edit link next to the record's name on the its zone's page. You can access this page by clicking the Managed DNS link on the left side of the screen and then selecting the appropriate zone.

In order to keep your record pointed at your most current IP address, you will need to run a dynamic DNS update client like WinIP. For more information on compatible dynamic DNS update clients, please visit our dynamic DNS update client page.


WinIP is an easy-to-use update client for Windows. WinIP features an intuitive graphical user interface that makes it simple to keep your dynamic DNS records up-to-date. The latest release is 4.5. You can download WinIP from the Downloads page.

Getting and installing WinIP
Configuring your account
Keeping your hosts up to date
Configuring WinIP to run behind a router

Getting and installing WinIP

First, download WinIP. To install WinIP, simply run the program you downloaded from the web site and follow the on-screen instructions.

Configuring your account

The first time you run WinIP, you will be prompted to enter your account details. To configure your account at another time, simply choose the "Add Account..." item from the File menu.

In the Account Properties window, enter your complete account name and the password you specified when you created your account. You can leave the server and port as their default values. Then, press OK. Any dynamic DNS records you have configured will automatically be retrieved for you.

If you don't have an account yet, you can sign up with a DNS service.

Keeping your hosts up to date

Once your account is configured, you can retrieve a list of your dynamic DNS records by choosing the Update Hosts item from the File menu. The check boxes next to your records indicate whether they will be updated when your IP changes. All records are unchecked by default. Place a check mark next to the records you would like to keep updated, and then select Update Hosts from the File menu to force an update.

Whenever WinIP is running it will watch for changes to your system's IP address and keep your records up to date. You can close WinIP's window by clicking the standard X button in the upper right-hand corner; WinIP will continue to run in your system tray, near the Windows clock.

WinIP can run as a Windows service on Windows Server and Windows XP and higher. To have WinIP run as a service, select the Run as a Service item from the File menu. You may then close WinIP's interface by choosing Exit from the File menu, and WinIP will continue to monitor your IP address and keep your records updated.

Configuring WinIP to run behind a router

If the computer running WinIP accesses the Internet through a router or gateway, it probably has a private IP address. Your public, dynamic IP address is actually assigned to your router. In this case, you can configure WinIP to detect changes in your router's IP address by using the Network Configuration tab. In the Network Configuration tab, check the box labeled "Detect changes in my gateway's external IP address." Several new input fields will be displayed.

WinIP uses your router's UPnP service to determine its IP. If your router does not support UPnP, WinIP will use the STUN protocol to determine your public ip address using an external internet server.

After you click the Save Router Settings button, WinIP will begin to monitor your router's IP address, and will keep your dynamic DNS records updated.


If WinIP is not updating your hosts properly, it may be caused by network problems or by configuration issues. You can view a log of WinIP's activity by viewing the Status Log tab.

If the log does not help you solve the problem, please contact us for support by choosing the Request Support item from WinIP's Help menu. By contacting us with this method, WinIP's configuration will automatically be sent to our support team. This will help us to provide you with a fast, helpful response.

Perl is a text-based dynamic DNS update client for Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and any other operating system with Perl support. is a Perl dynamic DNS update client for the DNS Max and DNS Max DNS services. It runs on Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and other operating systems with Perl support. is responsible for keeping your DNS records pointed at your current IP address. When run, the program checks to see whether your IP address has changed since the last time an update was sent to the servers. If it has, the program sends an update. The program should be scheduled to run every few minutes.


Linux and Mac OS X

Download dnsmax-perl-1.0.1 and follow the instructions in the INSTALL file.


Install the client from the dns/dnsmax-perl port, or type 'pkg_add -r dnsmax-perl'. Note: the client is installed as dnsmax-perl, not

DNSMax entry on freshports.

Getting Started

  1. Run `./ --configure`. Enter your account information as prompted.
  2. Run `./ --fetchhosts`. Any dynamic DNS records that you have configured in your account will be downloaded into your configuration files.
  3. Run `./ --choosehosts`. Follow the instructions to determine which of your hosts should be updated on this computer.
  4. Add a crontab entry to run `/path/to/perl /path/to/ --updateip` every few minutes.

Usage Summary

Usage: MODE [configuration_file]

Available Modes

  • --configure : Create or edit a configuration file; set the account's user name, password, and other settings.
  • --fetchhosts : Retrieve the latest list of dynamic DNS records for the configured account. Determine which records should be updated when an IP change is detected.
  • --choosehosts : Choose which hosts will be updated when an IP change is detected.
  • --updateip : Determine whether the network's IP has changed since the the last time it was checked, and send an update if necessary.

If configuration_file is not specified, a file named dnsmax.conf located in the working directory will be assumed.


If you have configured a hostname but are having trouble accessing your computer using your hostname, there are a number of steps you can take to find the problem.

Check the IP to which your hostname points

The first thing you will want to check is whether your hostname is pointed at your IP address. You can check this by logging in to your account and viewing the records for the appropriate zones. For instructions on how to do this, click here.

The IP address to which your hostname points will be displayed next to the hostname.

Hostname points to the default IP (

If your hostname points to the IP address, that means you have not provided the IP to which your record should point. You can set this by clicking the Edit link next to the record's name, or by having WinIP send an update for the record.

Hostname points to a local IP address

If your hostname points to an address that begins with "127.0", "192.", or "10.0", that means your hostname is pointing to your computers local IP address, and not your external address. In order for your hostname to be publicly accessible, it needs to point to your public address.

If you have determined that your hostname is pointing to your correct IP address but you cannot access your computer using your hostname, one of the following issues may be the cause.

A firewall may be blocking traffic

If either you or your ISP are running a firewall or router, it may be blocking on all or some ports. If you are running a firewall or router, make sure it is configured to allow traffic to pass through to your computer on the ports you wish to use.

Your service may not be configured or running

Please check the configuration of the service you are trying to access. Make sure your remote access server, web server, file server, or other service is turned on and configured to accept connections from the Internet, and not only locally.

Your ISP may have cached an old IP address

If your IP has recently changed, your ISP may be remembering your last IP. Normally, this will be resolved within a few minutes. If you know your IP has recently changed, wait awhile and try your hostname again.

Getting help

If you are not able to access your computer via your hostname and are unsure why, please contact us for help.