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DHCP became an important tool for ISPs as well to manage their address spaces for connecting home and small-business end-users with a single IP address each by implementing network address translation (NAT) at the customer-premises router.

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DNS is based on a distributed database that takes some time to update globally.

When DNS was first introduced, the database was small and could be easily maintained by hand.

Many providers offer commercial or free Dynamic DNS service for this scenario.

The automatic reconfiguration is generally implemented in the user's router or computer, which runs software to update the DDNS service.

The first is "standards-based DNS updates", which uses an extension of the DNS protocol to ask for an update; this is often used for company laptops to register their address.

The second is usually a web-based protocol, normally a single HTTP fetch with username and password which then updates some DNS records (by some unspecified method); this is commonly used for a domestic computer to register itself by a publicly-known name in order to be found by a wider group, for example as a games server or webcam.

Dynamic DNS is a system that addresses the problem of rapid updates.

The term is used in two ways, which, while technically similar, have very different purposes and user populations.

Dynamic IP addresses present a problem if the customer wants to provide a service to other users on the Internet, such as a web service.

As the IP address may change frequently, corresponding domain names must be quickly re-mapped in the DNS, to maintain accessibility using a well-known URL.

IP addresses, once assigned to a particular host, rarely changed and the mechanism was initially sufficient.

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