Step-by-Step: Installing and Configuring DirectUpdate Dynamic IP Client
January 4, 2004


For those of you who have dynamic WAN IP addresses, you are probably using a dynamic IP update service such as ZoneEdit.  This article shows you how to install and configure the DirectUpdate utility which is a piece of software that communicates with the dynamic IP services to let them know what IP address you currently have.  DirectUpdate is compatible with many different dynamic IP services, however, in this article, I will be using ZoneEdit as the example.  No matter which dynamic IP service you use, the concepts are very similar.

A very nice thing about the DirectUpdate utility is that it runs as a service on Windows NT, 2000, or XP.

Note: Before you use the DirectUpdate.net client, you need to create and setup an account with the dynamic DNS service you are using.  In this example, we are using ZoneEdit.com.  You should setup and configure your zone file just as if you were using a static IP address.  Here is how to do that:   Registering your Zone File at ZoneEdit.com  Once you do that, DirectUpdate will keep the IP address for that zone account updated.

Let's get started.  Go to DirectUpdate.net

Click on "Downloads".

Download the latest version of DirectUpdate.  The version I use in this guide is 3.6.3.

The file name in this example is: DUSetup_3_6_3.zip.  Download this file to a directory on you computer and use WinZip or some other unzipping utility to decompress the files.

 

Double-click on the decompressed install file to begin installation.  Click on the message to begin installation.

 

You'll see this welcome screen.  Click "Next".

 

Another info screen will appear.  Click "Next".

 

Here is the license agreement.  Read it and click "Yes".

 

Here you choose the installation directory.  The default directory is fine.  Click "Next".

 

Here you choose what kind of installation you want.  We want a typical full installation.  Click "Next".

 

Here you choose the Program Folder for the DirectUpdate icon to reside.  Default is fine.  Click "Next".

 

We are now ready to install.  Click "Next".

 

Installation is now complete.  Click "Close".

 

In the system tray, you'll see the DirectUpdate Control (the left most green one).

 

Note: Before you use the DirectUpdate.net client, you need to create and setup an account with the dynamic DNS service you are using.  In this example, we are using ZoneEdit.com.  You should setup and configure your zone file just as if you were using a static IP address.  Here is how to do that:   Registering your Zone File at ZoneEdit.com  Once you do that, DirectUpdate will keep the IP address for that zone account updated.

Let's double-click on the DirectUpdate icon to configure the client.  Since this version isn't registered yet, you will see this dialog box every time you start and close DirectUpdate.  If you use this piece of software and like it, please support the author by paying the small registration fee.  This keeps authors around to write good software!

 

DirectUpdate consists of 2 pieces of software.  One is the service engine that does all the work of updating the IP number and other various things.  The other piece is the administration user interface that talks to the service engine.  This is cool because that means that you can run both the service module and admin interface on the same computer or you can run the service engine on one computer and run the admin interface on a different computer.  This is useful if you run your server headless and want to control DirectUpdate remotely.

In the admin interface, let's start by clicking the "Engine Connection" tab.

Some key points:

If you are using the admin interface and service engine on the same computer, you can leave "Connect to machine" set to "localhost".  If you are connecting to a different computer, enter the IP number of that computer here.

Next we can choose how this service module runs.  For most of us, we want the service to run as soon as the machine is turned on.  For this, we can leave "Startup type" set as "Automatic".  If you want to manually control when the service is turned on, then select "Manual".

 

Here is where we enter our information about the domain name we are trying to update.

Let's click on the "Status" tab.

 

Click "Create".

 

In the "Account type" window, drop down to the service that you are using.  In this example, I am using ZoneEdit.com. 

In the "Domain" window, type in the domain name or subdomain that you are updating.  In this example, I am using temphost.com

Then type in your User name and Password for the dynamic IP service in the appropriate boxes.  In this example, I would type in my User name and Password to my ZoneEdit.com account.  Click "OK".

 

DirectUpdate will then connect to the ZoneEdit.com servers and supply them with your current IP information.  Click "Create" and repeat the above process until all your domains and accounts are enter in the "Accounts" list. 

You may have to put in separate entries for "domain.com" and "www.domain.com" and "subdomain.domain.com".  It depends on the dynamic service you are using.

 

That's pretty much setting up the whole client.  However, there are many other features in this client that you might be interested in.  Take a look though the other tabs.

Tab: Advanced settings

 

Tab: Actions

There is an interesting function here: Persistent internet connection.  Here DirectUpdate will ping a domain name at an interval you choose so that your Internet connection will not disconnect.  You probably want a duration much less than the 60 minutes that is default.  Maybe every few minutes would be good.

 

Tab: Logs

 

Tab: About

 

Tab: Registration

 

Once you have all the settings the way you like them, click "Exit" and you're done!  DirectUpdate will now keep your domain or subdomain updated with your IP address!  Pretty neat huh?

Brian
 



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