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View Full Version : Which supplier has the best router with DDNS capability?



ellpow
20-02-2013, 10:45 AM
Hope someone on the forum can assist: we are currently selling a piece of energy monitoring equipment that is configured as a web server.

The premises (homes) we are installing these at usually have a wifi network. Through this, the energy monitoring equipment downloads data every hour back to the manufacturer (which we can access for performance monitoring purposes). The monitoring equipment gets assigned an IP address by the wifi routers - some of the routers have DDNS capability, others don't. For those with the DDNS function, we are able to set up dynamic domain name tracking and so are able to dial directly into the monitoring equipment in realtime and not have to wait for a data dump every hour.

However, for other units without DDNS, even if we set up the routers to reserve an IP address for the monitoring unit, we keep losing the ability to talk to the energy monitoring unit when the routers without DDNS gets rebooted by the home owners.

We think it would be simpler if we supplied every customer with a DDNS capable router. Question is, which supplier should we have this discussion with? We don't need high spec routers, but would like to offer to customer something that they won't grow out of in 18 months either.

Hope someone on the forum can help - thanks in advance.

ellpow
20-02-2013, 11:03 AM
Should say 'suppliers' - probably need to speak to several....

Chilling_Silence
20-02-2013, 11:37 AM
Does this device also need to do ADSL2+? What about customers on HSNS or VDSL2? Will the customer also be having admin access to this router?

I'm not sure you understand the Dynamic DNS function though, you'd only use that if you needed to go *back* to the router and pull it from it, but you'd also have to have ports opened on the customers router to do-so? Seems kind of backwards?

ellpow
20-02-2013, 12:56 PM
Chill: No I don't have a good understanding of dynamic DNS.
My understanding is that the monitoring equipment is assigned an IP address by the home router and this address keeps changing - the monitoring unit scans for wifi nwks and connects - and gets its IP address, then downloads data. When we are onsite, we see what address is on the screen of the monitoring unit, and type that into our browser while we are connected to the same wifi nwk - and get realtime info. The manufacturer has provided us instructions on how to set up "pin-holing" to the monitoring equipment, by using the DDNS function, including port settings etc, on compatible routers. With a dynamic DNS service, we are then able to type in the name (www.xyz.dyndns.org or whatever) we gave to the monitoring unit and see the unit in real time. We are unable to do this with some of the monitoring units because their home routers do not support a DDNS function - so we need to supply the home with one that does.

Thomson and a few other routers are compatible - past forum posts have had a lot to say about various routers - so we want to go and talk to the suppliers of the ones which forum members have had good experience with, and bundle a compatible router in with every system we sell - if the customer does not have a router that allows "pin-holing"...

Chilling_Silence
20-02-2013, 02:50 PM
On top of the dynamic DNS function, you'd also have to convince your customers to setup a static DHCP lease for the equipment of yours, along with then setting up a port-forward. My concern is that if you aren't entirely sure yourself how this actually works, how do you expect your customers to know what to do?

What you *probably* want is for the device to establish an outbound connection back to a central location managed by you. Then you have to setup this central location to accept connections from anywhere (easy) and the customer doesn't have to do any configuration at all, no pissing around with routers, port forwards, dynamic DNS etc...

So I guess the question is: What device are you using to do this monitoring? How flexible is that? Can it be setup to establish a connection back to you directly? What about establishing a VPN connection, perhaps PPTP or OpenVPN?

dugimodo
20-02-2013, 03:10 PM
Networking isn't my strongest skill so maybe I should stay quiet but I thought the dydns.org service just gave you a static ip address that you can use to access your pc when your isp uses dynamic ip addresses. I've used similar services in the past that required a client service to be installed on the home pc but didn't need the router to suport ddns, maybe a different solution is available.The simplest option would seem to be requesting a static ip address from the isp, setting a static ip on the home network, and pinholing the router.

Chilling_Silence
20-02-2013, 03:31 PM
^^ Good luck mass-deploying a solution like that though ;-)

fred_fish
20-02-2013, 06:46 PM
What you *probably* want is for the device to establish an outbound connection back to a central location managed by you...perhaps PPTP or OpenVPN?+1
I would use a reverse ssh tunnel - much simpler to implement and lighter than a VPN solution.
But again, it depends on the device capabilities.
If it runs a webserver, maybe the manufacturer could include ssh, if not OpenSSH then Dropbear is a nice lite fully functional ssh binary.

Maybe duct-tape a rPi to it :)

ellpow
20-02-2013, 08:19 PM
Thanks to all replies - I will ask manufacturer.

Chilling_Silence
20-02-2013, 09:24 PM
Yeah basically I've done VPNs a lot for remote device management where you're deploying it at a customer / offsite location. It's INSANELY easy by comparison coz you don't *actually* have to do anything, or get the customer to do anything usually...