Connecting to home webserver

Note: I assume this is allowed by Dreamhost? If not… damn.

In any case. I’ve created a subdomain of my domain, registered with Dreamhost, and I’m looking at pointing this subdomain at my home server. Problem is; I don’t have a static IP address, and as a result, I can’t just dump my external IP address somewhere and hope for the best.

Is anyone able to tell me how I might go about setting things up so that I can access my home web server, via the subdomain?

I’m running IIS on the server at the moment, and am quite happy to change to Apache if anyone has some good reasons for doing so :slight_smile:

My “dynamic” IP address hardly changes, but what I’ve done in the past is create a script on my home machine that retrieves my external IP address, then uploads a text file to my server so I have a record of its current IP address. If you’re really clever, you can just have it page you if your IP address changes.

Should my IP address change, I can jump into the control panel and update my DNS entry.

You could run your DNS elsewhere, such as which provides tools for updating dynamic IP addresses, but then your DreamHost IP addresses would be at risk of changing.


Depending on where you are, and how your ISP operates you can set up an account with a Dynamic DNS - is one, there are more - and then redirect a subdirectory to your new site.

Caution: most ISPs don’t allow hosting on personal accounts, you’ll have to check your Terms of Service to see if it is allowed.

The DH Wiki undoubtedly has much documentation on redirecting -


When you say you have ‘created’ a sub-domain, I assume you mean that you have added a sub-domain to the DreamHost hosting system via the panel at Manage Domains. If so, then I’m afraid that the first step you must take is to delete this sub-domain and wait for it to be fully removed from the DreamHost system.

The usual procedure to achieve what you want is to simply add a DNS A-Record to the parent domain’s DNS records, pointing the sub-domain at your home servers static IP address. However, since you do not have a static IP address, the procedure is slightly different.

The first step in the procedure is to obtain a hostname from some place like and to keep this hostname pointed at your dynamic IP address using one of the many Dynamic DNS clients available. You won’t be using this hostname to directly access your website, it is simply required so that you have a known destination for the DNS record you will create in the next step.

The second step requires you to add a CNAME DNS record to your parent domain. This is done via the panel at Domains -> Manage Domains, click the small DNS link under your parent domain and add a custom DNS record with the following details:

Name: The sub-domain you want to use.
Value: The hostname you obtained in step 1

If everything went well, the sub-domain should now point (indirectly) at your home server. Of-course, it may take a little while for the DNS changes to propagate.


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Yeah, don’t forget that part.

I’d imagine most ISPs would require an upgrade to a business account, which will probably be a little more money (and probably come with a dedicated IP).

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Thanks all, the help is greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Mark’s CNAME method is the way to go if your ISP doesn’t block port 80. Have you determined whether your ISP allows running a small personal web server on port 80? If not, you’ll have to use a slightly more complicated method to achieve your ends.

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