Today I’m pleased to introduce a new, free service which makes the Internet easier to use for the hundreds of millions of people with a dynamic IP address: DNS-O-Matic.

DNS-O-Matic logo

DNS-O-Matic gives you a free and easy way to announce your dynamic IP changes to multiple services with a single update.

No idea what I’m talking about? Well here’s the super-abridged version:

  • Your computer has something called an IP address associated with it that is unique on the Internet, a lot like a phone number is unique.
  • IP addresses are how computers reach each other, just like we use phone numbers to reach our friends on the phone.
  • Unfortunately, unlike phone numbers, most residential ISPs (Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, etc.) give you a dynamic IP address instead of one that is static (stays the same).
  • Whenever your IP changes, it can make it hard for certain network services to figure out how to reach you.
  • DNS-O-Matic fixes that.

DNS-O-Matic solves this problem in a very general way that provides immense benefits to network service providers (like OpenDNS), software developers and, of course, users like yourselves. A lot of small businesses and remote offices have dynamic IPs: DNS-O-Matic is for you, too.

Most importantly, it’s completely free for all parties involved.

Solving a troublespot for OpenDNS customers

OpenDNS offers a lot of benefits on top of our free, fast, reliable DNS service. All of these benefits are tied to your current IP address. For those with static, unchanging IP addresses, this has always been simple. For dynamic IP addresses (the majority of home users), this requirement has meant an extra step: installing or configuring software to send updates when your IP changes. It’s never been as easy as we want.

Some of our more technical OpenDNS customers who use dynamic DNS hostnames asked for a way to use that hostname to track their changing IP. We took a wider view and came up with a scalable solution that helps our users, and is available to any company who needs to solve this problem.

Creating a broader opportunity for the industry

Like we did with PhishTank, OpenDNS is solving an industry-wide problem with a scalable and open solution. DNS-O-Matic works because everyone involved in the Dynamic IP process benefits:

First: Every one of the hundreds of millions of Internet users with a dynamic IP address can now share their dynamic IP changes with all the services they care about in one update. One IP update will be redistributed to every service you subscribe to. New services are automatically supported without requiring you to download anything or buy a new device.

Second: Developers of dynamic IP update software can support multiple services — current and future — by supporting a single, free API. One of the reasons that hardware vendors only support one or two Dynamic DNS services is that it’s hard to add support for each and every one in their hardware device. Now they only need to support one standard and they can offer their customers the ability to use ANY or ALL services. That’s a huge win for software developers. There’s already a healthy list of software that can send updates to DNS-O-Matic. The list will grow quickly; let us know if you have an addition.

Third: Dynamic DNS service providers (like DynDNS, No-IP, ChangeIP, etc.) now benefit from increased distribution. As DNS-O-Matic support spreads, all the supported services become available to new customers without any effort. OpenDNS will add new services to that list as requested.

More importantly, new services have an immediate user-base from which to offer their service. There is a lot of opportunity for applications to take advantage of DNS-O-Matic. Everything from your Slingbox to your Xbox 360 could use DNS-O-Matic and make it easier to manage network devices at home or at work.

Supporting new services is easy

During the private beta, a DNS-O-Matic user suggested we add support for the Line Monitoring service. We hadn’t heard of this worthwhile service before but adding support for it in DNS-O-Matic took about 30 minutes and was immediately available to every DNS-O-Matic user.

Thanks are in order…

During the building of DNS-O-Matic, we’ve been thrilled to have the support of so many individuals and companies in the DNS world. DNS-O-Matic helps make services easier to use and businesses easier to operate because complementary (and even competitive) businesses are working together. Our thanks to the many developers and service providers we’ve spoken to recently: we look forward to more collaboration. We’re also grateful to our beta testers.

Why DNS-O-Matic?

Oh, and the name DNS-O-Matic? We chose that name because it’s fun to say and memorable. It’s also a hat tip to Ping-O-Matic, a service from some of the lead developers of WordPress for redistributing blog update notifications to dozens of services. It’s simple, free and stable — three attributes we respect a lot in a great service and will uphold with ours.


You can learn more in the DNS-O-Matic FAQ. The OpenDNS knowledge base has more information on Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and an explanation of dynamic IP addresses.

Let us know what you think!

  • Marcos


    As a happy OpenDNS user since a few months, I would like to thank you all, once again, for so great solution!

    And now, would like to congratulate you for this new useful tool.

    Many thanks!


    Congratulations David! You are one more step closer to becoming a billion dollar business. Hope to see many more such useful services from OpenDNS in future. :-)


  • Andy Slezak

    You guys totally rock. You are constantly making the backend of the internet super easy to operate, and safe to boot. Keep up the good work!

  • John Roberts

    We’ve just added two more services this morning to the Supported Services after hearing requests from users.

    Also, the Software list has a few new updates. Take a look:

    John Roberts

  • Peter R.

    Couldn’t come at a better time. Having just configured my father-in-law’s home network to use OpenDNS I was cringing at the next step, which would have been to configure his computer to run one of the rather cryptic dynamic DNS tools that your site used to recommend so that he could take advantage of adult site blocking and other features.

    After a few stop/starts I was able to get one of those tools working on my home network, but not without some duress. I am very much looking forward to the ease at which this new tool will handle that task.

  • Daniel Aleksandersen

    The website service is completely useless for most users. But I can see it as a real powertool for some.

    PS: Where is the invisible software client on my computer doing all of this?

  • Chris

    This is a great step. Unless I’m missing something though can I not set the programs to update an IP address to a certain network? As it stands it appears to update your IP address to all your networks.

  • Glenn Fleishman

    You folks thinking about adding wide-area Bonjour to OpenDNS? It would be an interesting option. Apple now supports it widely, and any other developer can implement it through IETF published (or draft) standards.

    With NAT-PMP, wide-area Bonjour allows applications within NAT-protected networks to publish persistent port mapping entries to DNS, which in turn allows other applications to connect back.

    The missing piece for application developers has been DNS server support. If you enabled wide-area Bonjour record publishing (through any fashion, really; even though a stub domain like, programmers could rely on using you as a central point and provide more end-to-end functions in software instead of having to roll their own or require publicly routable IPs or port mapping.

  • Andre

    This is just awesome. If OpenDNS wasn’t good enough, now this. Thank you so much!

    Well, it could be better if you offered an updating software yourself, though. Not that I can complain, I really love DynDNS Updater hidden update service doing its job more than well. I just thought it would be easier for your users.

    Thank you again!

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  • dantel

    Congratulations David! You are one more step closer to becoming a billion dollar business. Hope to see many more such useful services from OpenDNS in future. :-)