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Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

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Hack 75: Give Your Home Computer a Web Address

Level Advanced

Platform All

Cost Free

Accessing your home computer from the Internet is a lot easier if a memorable, permanent web address such as yourname.com points to it.

Depending on how your Internet service provider works, your home computer’s IP address may change over time, which means you need to keep track of the current one to reach your home computer. To avoid that, you can get a permanent web address that is made up of words (not numbers, as the IP address is) and automatically resolves to a dynamic IP. This way, addressing your home computer is much simpler.

Why would you want to assign a domain name to your home web server? Maybe you want to start a blog that you’re going to host at home instead of buying a web-hosting plan and you want the URL to be unforgettable. Maybe you want to set up a personal home page at yourname.com for business purposes or so that folks can easily find your website. Or maybe your home computer’s IP address changes and you don’t want to have to worry about keeping track to access your server.

NOTE This tutorial assumes that you already have a web or VNC server running at home. If you don’t, check out the preceding hacks for setting up one.

A dynamic DNS service, such as DynDNS (http://dyndns.com), is a constantly updated database of IP addresses and domain names. For free, you can get one of the available DynDNS domain names plus a custom subdomain (such as lifehacker.getmyip.net); or for ...

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