In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to configure Dynamic DNS on UniFi devices. If you have a dynamic external IP address, configuring dynamic DNS is mandatory if you’re hosting services so that you have a route to your external IP address at all times.
Without it, you’ll connect using your external IP address, but, that external IP address will periodically change, so you’ll lose access to your services when it does. After configuring Dynamic DNS on UniFi, you’ll be able to configure various local services (even for things like an OpenVPN Server or WireGuard Server) and access them!
How to Configure Dynamic DNS on UniFi Devices
Before we get started, I want to mention that there are a bunch of DDNS providers that you can use with UniFi devices. In general, I find DuckDNS to be a good overall option – mainly because it’s completely free and you don’t have to worry about maintaining it (some services require you to click a link monthly, etc).
While I find this to be a good overall option, if you own your own domain using something like Namecheap, it’s recommended to use that as you can pick your own subdomain, and the reliability might be better.
With that said, you don’t have to purchase your own domain – DuckDNS is fine for most…though as with all things free, potential issues (like infrequent downtime) may occur.
1. Select Settings, then Internet, and change Advanced to Manual. From there, select Create New Dynamic DNS.
2. In a new browser window, navigate to DuckDNS and create a user account, then sign in. After signing in, create a new domain (which is what you’ll use to access your external IP address) and select Add Domain.
3. Update the IP address to something generic (so that you can confirm the IP address changes after configuring dynamic DNS in UniFi).
At the top, you’ll see your username and a Token. Copy the token and move on to the next step.
3. In the UniFi configuration section, change the settings to match the information below, then save:
- Service: duckdns
- Hostname: [your_subdomain].duckdns.org
- Username: [Token]
- Password: [Token]
4. After the settings have been saved, navigate back to DuckDNS and check to ensure the IP address is updated. It might take a minute or so, but you should see your IP address changed and it should be your external IP address!
Conclusion & Final Thoughts
Dynamic DNS is the start of most home labs, as you need to ensure that you have a route back to your network at all times. Without Dynamic DNS (DDNS) and a DDNS hostname, things will constantly break as your external IP address might change. Two things to highlight that have already been mentioned above:
- If you have a static external IP address, this is not necessary.
- You’re better off purchasing your own domain from a potential reliability standpoint, but the reality is that dynamic DNS can be configured anywhere – it doesn’t have to be using your own domain.
Thanks for checking out the tutorial on how to configure dynamic DNS on UniFi devices. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments!