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The Old Myron Siren

One Domain With Several Subdomains To Different IPs

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This may not be the best place for this question, but I am looking into making small cloud instances on some Raspberry Pis for some friends. I of course need everything to be setup on SSL encryption, so a domain name is a must. My idea is to have one domain that I have registered with multiple subdomains for each of my friends, each one pointing to their external IP. In my head, this seems like a no brainer and fairly straight forward, but I also know there's a lot that I don't know about networking and website security and all that so I wanted to make sure that I'm not inviting any issues in doing so. I don't want everyone to be using one cloud instance, I want each of them to have their own Pi with their own files and configurations. Is this a good idea, bad idea, waste of time? Thanks guys!


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Do your friends have static IP addresses? Otherwise you'll have to update the DNS records every time their IPs change. It's not impossible to automate, but one more thing to take care of that could go wrong.

 

I assume the Pis aren't the only thing connected to their Internet, which means to make them visible to the Internet they'll have to set up port forwarding on their routers, which may or may not be possible (depends if it's their hardware or the ISP's).

 

Also depending on their ISPs, hosting web services on their connection may be against the ToS. Might not be an issue if traffic is minimal (ISP might just ignore it), but some actively block the ports that are needed to do it (e.g. 80 and 443).

 

Subdomains mean you need a registrar that supports it. Some are going to charge you extra for it, others may not allow it at all. So check before you buy a domain name. Do they allow subdomains and if so how many (or what kind). E.g. do they allow you to configure subdomains at the DNS level or do they support wildcard DNS records.

 

What exactly do you mean by "cloud instance" in this case? E.g. what kind of services do you envision to be running on these machines? Web server, Mail server, File server...? Will you be administrating these machines, or are your friends well versed enough to do it themselves? (You could quickly become stuck on endless tech support)

 

(P.S. Not trying to shoot down your idea, just pointing out things you may have to think about)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
12 hours ago, Eigenvektor said:

Do your friends have static IP addresses? Otherwise you'll have to update the DNS records every time their IPs change. It's not impossible to automate, but one more thing to take care of that could go wrong.

 

I assume the Pis aren't the only thing connected to their Internet, which means to make them visible to the Internet they'll have to set up port forwarding on their routers, which may or may not be possible (depends if it's their hardware or the ISP's).

 

Also depending on their ISPs, hosting web services on their connection may be against the ToS. Might not be an issue if traffic is minimal (ISP might just ignore it), but some actively block the ports that are needed to do it (e.g. 80 and 443).

 

Subdomains mean you need a registrar that supports it. Some are going to charge you extra for it, others may not allow it at all. So check before you buy a domain name. Do they allow subdomains and if so how many (or what kind). E.g. do they allow you to configure subdomains at the DNS level or do they support wildcard DNS records.

 

What exactly do you mean by "cloud instance" in this case? E.g. what kind of services do you envision to be running on these machines? Web server, Mail server, File server...? Will you be administrating these machines, or are your friends well versed enough to do it themselves? (You could quickly become stuck on endless tech support)

 

(P.S. Not trying to shoot down your idea, just pointing out things you may have to think about)

I would be using GoDaddy for the domain and as far I know, they don't charge for DNS records. I have few domains with them for some game servers I host and my personal cloud . And by cloud instances, I meant NextCloud servers that they would be running specifically for themselves. I didn't know about the ToS with ISPs, so I'll make mention of that to them thanks for letting me know about that! As far as I know, they have static IP addresses, but I will definitely have them all double check. 


Workstation/Gaming Rig - Asus Crosshair VI Hero | Ryzen 7 1700x | 2x8GB DDR4 G.SKILL Trident Z RGB | Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming | 480GB SATA SSD, 2TB Seagate HDD

Home Server - Gigabyte GA-7TESM | 2x Xeon x5690 | 18x4GB DDR3 ECC Hynix | Zota GTX 970 | PNY 120GB SATA SSD, 6x4TB HP MidLine HDD, Seagate 3TB HDD, Seagate 8TB HDD

Mining Rig - Tyan S7012 | Xeon x5660 | 1x4GB DDR3 Hynix | 2x XFX Radeon RX480, 2x Sapphire RX580 Pulse, 1 MSI Armor RX580

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I use Namecheap and it's great, and allows adding as many dns records as you want using their free DNS service ... so you can create as many subdomains as you want.

I would favor it over GoDaddy... just seems like less than a Corporate machine, that doesn't spend so much  money on advertising, a smaller "shop" which probably has better service.

 

You may want to check out afraid.org, a free dns service which also has a software that automatically updates the ip address if it changes. See : http://freedns.afraid.org/faq/#14

Basically you can connect your domain to their dns server and then from their interface, you can approve or deny subdomains - your friends can signup and get their own subdomains and then optionally run a software on their computer to keep their ip current, if their IP is not static.

You may have to subscribe with a small monthly fee if you want your domain completely invisible from their system and have only your friends set up subdomains - there's a shared-private option for free accounts where people around the world could set up subdomains on your domain and then you could deny them after the fact.

edit: the free option is capped to 6 subdomains... premium account with 50 subdomains limit is 5$ a month.

 

Not having a static IP is not really a big deal... it just takes 15-30 minutes for the DNS settings to update, more if you use a free service like afraid.org (like potentially 1h+)

And usually ISPs only change or assign new random IP when the modem restarts or resets or at some planned maintenance periods

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