VPNs are more popular than ever. But did you know that you can also use your FRITZX!Box as a VPN server? In combination with DynDNS, it’s an unbeatable combination.
In this step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how easy it is to set up dynamic DNS and VPN for your FRITZ!Box so you can always access your home network from anywhere.
- What is DynDNS?
- What is a VPN?
- 1. Set up DynDNS for FRITZ!Box
- 2. Set up VPN in the FRITZ!Box
- 3. Set up VPN on your device
What is DynDNS?
DynDNS or DDNS stands for dynamic DNS. It describes a technique that can dynamically update entries in the DNS. Normally, one sets a fixed entry for a domain. For example, the domain google.de has the NS entry 188.8.131.52. With DynDNS, this IP address behind it changes dynamically and adjusts automatically.
What is DNS and how does it work exactly? I have explained this in detail in my article about DNS basics.
This is helpful, for example, if you always want to access the same router, but its IP address changes daily. Manually adjusting the DNS entry would be very cumbersome. And this is exactly where DynDNS comes into play.
What is a VPN?
Currently, you get daily advertisements for countless VPN providers and how important a VPN is. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and that’s exactly what it is in principle. A virtual private network. You connect virtually to another network (without a real physical connection) and can then access all the network resources available there.
You can think of it as taking your laptop and logging onto a friend’s Wi-Fi. Only from his home. In this case, the friend is the VPN provider.
Of course, a VPN has many more functions and advantages – but this should be enough for a rough understanding.
1. Set up DynDNS for FRITZ!Box
Internet providers no longer assign private IP addresses to private individuals or you have to dig very deep into your pocket. But the IP address of the FRITZ!Box changes daily. So exactly the right application for DynDNS!
You now have the choice to use DynDNS via your own domain or to use the free service of the FRITZ!Box manufacturer AVM: MyFritz.
In this tutorial I show how to use DynDNS with your own domain. If you don’t have your own domain, you can follow this tutorial and set up DynDNS with a free MyFritz account.
Activate DynDNS of your domain
I use a domain from STRATO for this. For other providers, however, this will work similarly.
So go to your domain and look for the item “Dynamic DNS” under “DNS management”. Here you just have to set the option “enabled”.
After that you need to set a password for Dynamic DNS, which we will need in the next step – so keep it safe.
Note that it can take up to 24 hours until the DNS record is available worldwide!
Adjust DynDNS settings of the FRITZ!Box
Now log in to your FRITZ!Box interface (http://fritz.box) and go to Internet > Shares > DynDNS.
There you check the box “Use DynDNS” and fill out all fields. At STRATO the username is the same as the domain name. You should have set the password in the last step.
If you use other providers, check their documentation to see what the username is.
After that, the DynDNS service should be enabled, simple right? 🙂
2. Set up VPN in the FRITZ!Box
Now we have a domain, or a MyFritz address, through which we can always reach our home router. This is the prerequisite so that we can now connect to our home network from anywhere via VPN.
To do this, navigate to Internet > VPN and click on “Add VPN connection”.
There you have to select the type of VPN. Here, the first option “Set up remote access for one user” is the right option for our use case.
You will now be prompted to create a user for the VPN connection.
You can freely select the user name and password. The important thing here is that the option “Access from the Internet” and “VPN” is activated.
I would highly recommend choosing a very secure password here and storing the password securely. If this information gets into the hands of the wrong people, they can potentially access your entire home network!
That was basically all. The VPN connection is now activated and waits for an incoming connection from you.
3. Set up VPN on your device
Retrieve VPN connection data
If you switch back to the overview under Internet > Shares > VPN you will find the somewhat misnamed item “VPN Settings”.
There you will find this overview to set up the VPN on your devices.
Set up VPN under Windows
In your Windows settings, you will find the menu item “VPN” under “Network and Internet”. There you can add the VPN connection.
Set up VPN under macOS
In macOS, navigate to Apple in the top menu and then to System Preferences > Network. Click on the “+” in the list on the left and select “VPN” under Connection. Then enter all other connection data.
Set up VPN on iOS
On iOS, you can find the VPN option in the settings under General > VPN and Device Management. There you can enter the connection data.
Set up VPN on Android
Under Android, you will find the item “Network & Internet” in the settings and there “VPN”. Again, you simply have to enter the access data.
As you can see, with a few steps you have the possibility to access your FRITZ!Box home network worldwide. You can access the network resources shared in the network, such as storage or media. Everything you could do at home.
P.S. This also allows you to bypass the geoblocking of streaming providers abroad. 🙂
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