Nothing in cyberspace is sacred
Dyn, the web hosting and DNS company, has sent a letter to its free DNS account holders to tell them that the company will no longer provide DNS service for free.
We can’t say we didn’t see it coming. We figured that this would happen when the company required that users log into the company’s web site each month – or, the company warned, the company would ax the free DNS. You can almost smell the sales department’s cologne and/or perfume on this one. You can also smell financial turbulence for this company, as well.
By and large, free DNS is used for average people, not giant companies who can afford to pay. These are thousands of people who run small, usually at-home web servers and who rely on free DNS to let folks access those servers over the Internet. But no more – at least with Dyn. And not without money, if you want to keep your small-time site name. For example, a typical site name would be something like “ramshackleshack.dyndns-work.com.” (Not sexy, but free).
Now, no more free. Pity. Those who rely on that free DNS to run their own web servers will now have to either rent it, together with a hosting plan no doubt, and the added expense of buying a domain name. Sadly, thousands of “average guy/gal” web sites that rely on free DNS to make their own web servers visible on the Internet are left out in the cold, and now must find another means of being available on the Internet – or go dark.
Below is an excerpt from the company’s letter to subscribers.
“To our Dyn free hostname users: For the last 15 years, all of us at Dyn have taken pride in offering you and millions of others a free version of our Dynamic DNS Pro product. What was originally a product built for a small group of users has blossomed into an exciting technology used around the world.
“That is why with mixed emotions we are notifying you that in 30 days, we will be ending our free hostname program. This change in the business will allow us to invest in our customer support teams, Internet infrastructure, and platform security so that we can continue to strive to deliver an exceptional customer experience for our paying customers.
“We would like to invite you to upgrade to VIP status for less than $20 — a 25% discount good for any package of Remote Access (formerly DynDNS Pro). By doing so, you’ll have access to customer support, additional hostnames, and more.”
It’s not like there are that many free DNS companies around. This company’s decision will force those everyday people who run their own servers from home or work will now just have to “go fish.” The DNS service poll just shrank by one company.
Beyond that – this company’s decision gives the open source community a black eye, since many of open sources’ adherents also rely on the free DNS to help in developing programming for the public at large or to just run a small, personal server.
To that cross-section of the public, $20 a month for DNS is unreasonable, and with the sad state of the economy, it’s not in the budget. The only consolation they may have after they find another free DNS company is that, although they must change their web address, at least it won’t end in “dyndns.com.”
By the way, at last report, no-ip.com was still in love with free DNS. On their web site they say:
Our users trust in us and you will never have to worry about us discontinuing our free dynamic DNS service. We love free stuff!”
Ya gotta love competition.