In 1999, No-IP was founded in a college dorm room. Since that modest start, it's grown to serve 25+ million customers, and presumably - has moved out to a bigger, better office.
But how good this DNS provider really is? With over 100 DNS locations, and guaranteed 100% uptime, it should be great. We'll find this out in my No-IP review.
What Is No-IP?
No-IP is a Domain Name Service (DNS) provider. DNS is the system that keeps millions of internet-enabled devices in order using IP addresses. You can learn more about it in our IP comparison article.
No-IP specializes in Managed and Dynamic DNS (DDNS) services. These are designed for very different use cases:
- DDNS is suited to personal users. It attaches a static hostname to devices such as home security systems, so you can access them from anywhere.
- Managed DNS is better for businesses. It makes your website more reliable by adding redundant nameservers.
No-IP also provides the following services:
- Domain registration
- SSL Certificates
- Server Monitoring
- Email Hosting
- Managed Hostname Remote Access
However, as No-IP is primarily a DNS provider, that's the service I'll focus on in this No-IP review.
No IP Review: First Impressions
Getting set up with No-IP is easy thanks to a modern and easy to navigate website. Once I'd settled on a DNS plan, I simply had to provide my email address to create an account.
I found the My No-IP account management system equally intuitive to get around. In short, beginners shouldn't have any trouble using this service.
Reliable DNS Redundancy
No-IP claims its Managed DNS service can reduce website downtime by letting visitors reach your site through one of its 80 nameserver locations. When I added No-IP to my website, my uptime did increase to 100%, matching No-IP's uptime guarantee.
Useful Customer Support
No-IP maintains an extensive support knowledge base and has several in-depth tutorial videos. However, if you run into trouble, it's also possible to submit a support ticket. It's a shame no live chat or phone support is offered though.
No-IP offers a completely free DDNS package. The main limitation of the free plan is that its hostnames expire every 30 days, so you have to keep logging in to get a new one. A $24.95/year enhanced DDNS package and $29.95/year Managed DNS package are also available.
No-IP Plans in More Detail
Let's take a closer look at the differences between those plans:
|Free DDNS||Enhanced DDNS||Managed DNS|
|Hostname Expiry||30 Days||Never||Never|
|Reduce Website Downtime||No||Yes||Yes|
|Includes Email Hosting||No||No||Yes|
For most users, the Enhanced DDNS package will be suitable as it includes permanent hostnames and is ad-free. However, business users who want to add SSL certificates or separate email hosting to their websites should consider the Managed DNS plan.
No-IP claims it can reduce website load times by routing traffic through nearby nameserver nodes. I tested this with Bitcatcha and found that speeds did improve noticeably after No-IP was added to my site.
Before No-IP Dynamic DNS...
No-IP Review: Final Thoughts
No-IP is a user-friendly service that works as advertised. It's a shame that no phone or live chat support is available, but given No-IP's cheap prices, most users will be able to forgive this flaw. I recommend signing up for No-IP's free DDNS package to test this service yourself.
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