Why Dynamic DNS Is Not For Grids

A domain you don’t have to pay for and allows you to place ever changing residential networks behind effectively allowing them to be reached under the same address. Sounds like a great idea on paper right?

Normally it is just that, a great way to deal with the annoying changing IP-addresses of residential internet; makes for a great way to create local networks of people looking to share information and content among themselves and show the world your homelab projects. Unfortunately that is really where the good usage-cases end. As of late the increase of dynamic DNS being in use across the metaverse is causing all manners of problems, especially when these grids and standalones are the home locations of content creators and social animals. These problems may not be obvious at first so here are a few examples:

Assets

When an asset is created locally it is given identification information such as the creator of the asset. This creator id normally can be easily traced back to the origin location of where it was created. This is by design and works well for static systems, but introduce dynamic DNS into the mix and the problems resolving this creator information start to add up. Eventually you will simply see errors telling you that creator information could not be retrieved. This can result in quite a bit of spam and the simulation will grind to halt if too many of these requests have to be completed without a result.

DNS Caching

While not always an issue, depending on the individual system and internet provider DNS information is usually cached at some point, should a change then occur the caches need to be emptied and new, updated, information inserted. If that does not happen often enough you may find your favorite place unreachable for quite some time. Clearing and resetting these caches can be as simple as restarting your computer, at worst your internet provider, who can intercept DNS requests, are caching data longer. At that point you need to dive into your router or modem, if that is actually possible at all.

DNS Spoofing

Unfortunately many free dynamic DNS act quite liberal with re-assigning addresses should they remain unused, this can lead to just about anyone fetching a disused address and sending malicious data out to those trying to connect to that address. While not technically considered spoofing, the results are the same and specifically for a system that has no way of being “smart” about what it connects to you end up with no way of distrusting a connection until it is too late.

Friends

This is probably the worst offender of slowdowns when it comes to DNS. Requests for the status of your friends being sent all over the metaverse, waiting for a desperate reply from their homes only to not get one. These requests are sent in such a manner to fetch the data quickly and as efficiently as possible, unfortunately there really is only one way to fetch them and that is to contact each and everyone of them on their own and asking them of their status. With no central service that handles these requests it ends up being endpoint-to-endpoint or in a way peer-to-peer. If your friendslist is longer than average you may encounter serious issues that can even prevent login all together.

Speed

Residential connections are often set to have about 1/10th of their download speeds as upload speed, sometimes even less. These speeds are often not even advertised, because for the average user who simply sends requests for websites, chats and perhaps some game data, upload does not matter all that much. However, running a service via these connections can easily overwhelm slower connections. Upload speed is what matters when someone external tries to connect to you; you need to send them all the data they need to see you and your lovely new creation. The lower the upload speed the more issues you encounter, from slow reaction times all the way to failures reaching your destination. This gets exponentially worse the more data is requested as things back up quickly.

Ripple Effect

What may not be obvious, the more dynamic DNS is in use, the worse the service quality gets for others on the metaverse. As mentioned above, the problems quantify themselves the more data is spread and this can have negative effects on normally hosted grids and standalones as well. They too have to wait for data to get there or run into timeout. This can lead to the issues described above, even on systems and connections with more than adequate metrics. The result is a metaverse that is slower to respond, sees more connection failures and in the worst case scenario can become impossible to sustain, leaving the only option to shut hypergrid down completely to maintain some sort of performance inside a grid.

Breach Of Contract

Many residential internet providers specifically disallow using the service they provide for purposes of running a business or conduction business with the connection itself as the carrier. This means, should an unusual amount of traffic go one way, that appears as though you are actively using your connection to host a service against payment to others, a swift shutdown from your provider may come your way. This does not happen often, but if your grid grows you may find them getting a bit weary over what is going on. While some providers offer business connections, these are often not that much better in service quality and can cost many times more than a residential connection, negating the savings you may have had over paying for a server in a datacenter.

 

This among other small reasons is why we strongly recommend not to use such service and having your grid or standalone professionally hosted with hardware of adequate proportions. That is really the only way to mitigate some of these issues and reduce the effect they can have on your experience. In the past we have happily provided consulting to those wishing to move away from dynamic DNS and find a better home for their creations and events; along with providing the professional hosting that enables the stress-free use of the metaverse for everyone involved. If you are currently using a dynamic DNS and residential connection for your standalone or grid, get in contact with us, we can offer you something better that will in the long run avoid a lot of headaches!