What Is Dynamic DNS (DDNS), and How Do You Set It Up?

Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

Dynamic DNS is a helpful service that permits you to use a set and memorable handle on your dwelling community even when your ISP adjustments your private home community’s IP handle. You can typically arrange DDNS in your router. You can even run a DDNS shopper on certainly one of your gadgets, like a pc, a NAS, or a Raspberry Pi.

Your dwelling web connection has a numeric IP handle that adjustments over time. Dynamic DNS (DDNS) allows you to assign an easy-to-remember handle so that you, your pals, and your loved ones can access your home network with a easy website-like identify.

What Is Dynamic DNS (DDNS)?

To perceive Dynamic DNS, you need to first be accustomed to plain previous DNS and its fundamental operate. DNS, or Domain Name System, is the magic that makes the web user-friendly and the best factor since sliced bread.

Every internet-accessible useful resource–net pages, FTP websites, you identify it–has an IP address that serves because the useful resource’s community handle on the web. These addresses are numeric, within the format, and will not be notably memorable.

Remember the final time you went to to see footage of your new niece? No? Of course, you don’t since you typed fb.com into your net browser as an alternative of A DNS server resolved your human-friendly request of fb.com right into a machine-friendly handle that despatched you, most likely in a hundredth of a second or much less, to Facebook.

Wouldn’t it’s nice in case you may arrange the identical trick on your dwelling community? This is the place Dynamic DNS (DDNS) comes into play. It’s simple for large corporations to arrange domains like Facebook.com as a result of their net server addresses are static. Once they’ve the IP handle, it doesn’t change.

Your dwelling IP handle is completely different, although. People with residential connections get a dynamically assigned IP address. Your ISP has a giant pool of addresses, and they share them with everybody on an as-needed foundation—utilizing the same kind of DHCP-based allocation your home router uses, simply on a much bigger scale.

This makes it fairly tough to drag the identical trick that is really easy for large corporations like Coca-Cola or Facebook as a result of the handle you have got right this moment isn’t the handle you might need subsequent week. This is the place Dynamic DNS comes into play.

Dynamic DNS suppliers make it useless easy to assign a memorable identify to your private home IP handle by routinely updating your public-facing area identify entry to level at your private home web IP handle at any given second.

So irrespective of how typically your ISP adjustments the IP they’ve assigned to your modem, the memorable handle you have got, like mystuff.freecoolddns.web, at all times factors to the suitable place.

Why Would I Want to Use Dynamic DNS?

Not everybody wants to make use of a Dynamic DNS service. If neither you nor your pals and household hook up with your self-hosted services, file shares, or assets hosted on your private home community, then having an easy-to-remember handle isn’t of a lot use.

But in case you are self-hosting something that different individuals (your self included) wish to routinely hook up with with out having to recall a numeric IP handle, Dynamic DNS is a useful device.

For of us self-hosting game servers (like a neighborhood or household Minecraft server), any form of file backup instruments, “cloud” services for their family, and even simply one thing so simple as a stay stream of a hen nest field of their yard, utilizing a Dynamic DNS supplier ensures that they by no means have to inform individuals the place to go to play, entry recordsdata, or verify on the birds. It’ll at all times be some.memorable.handle even when your IP handle adjustments each day.

What Do I Need to Use Dynamic DNS?

You solely want two issues to make use of Dynamic DNS with your private home web connection. First, you want a Dynamic DNS supplier. This service will constantly replace the DNS entry for the memorable hostname you’ve chosen. There are free choices and premium choices. There’s even an opportunity your router producer provides a free fundamental DDNS service and, if you wish to take a really hands-on method, you’ll be able to even run your own DDNS service for personal use.

Second, you want a device in place to make sure the Dynamic DNS supplier has a present and correct document. It’s a easy setup, nevertheless it’s vital to select a supplier that meets your wants and an replace technique that syncs along with your altering native IP handle.

Selecting a Dynamic DNS Provider

A correctly arrange Dynamic DNS system is virtually fire-and-forget, so it pays to learn up first, get a bunch that meets your wants, and take pleasure in a trouble-free expertise. Let’s have a look at Dynamic DNS options you is likely to be interested by and then dig into some urged suppliers.

Dynamic DNS Features to Consider

For most folk, the largest Dynamic DNS supplier function they need is free, and they don’t look a lot additional than that. In many conditions, that’s the one consideration. But there are fairly just a few helpful options to maintain thoughts whereas buying round.

  • Name Reservation: Some free suppliers require you to log in each X variety of days to substantiate your account, otherwise you lose your DDNS identify. You can keep away from that trouble by utilizing a DDNS supplier that completely reserves your identify till you manually delete it.
  • Top-Level vs. Third-Level Domains: Top-level domains are addresses like www.yourname.com. Third-level domains are addresses like yourname.DDNSprovider.web. You’ll want a DDNS supplier with top-level area assist if you wish to use your own domain name, comparable to yourname.web.
  • Aliases: An alias permits you to tack on a prefix to the area identify to create a subdomain. This is helpful for group functions and ease of use. You might need books.yourname.DDNSprovider.web and minecraft.yourname.DDNSprovider.web as easy-to-remember shortcuts to your e-book server and Minecraft server, respectively.
  • Web Redirects: If you’re internet hosting a number of providers with net interfaces, a redirect system will allow you to direct your major DDNS handle or an alias, like books.yourname.DDNsprovider.web on to the suitable port in your router, avoiding the requirement for you (or your pals) to recall the port variety of the e book server or different service.
  • Offline Settings: What occurs within the occasion of connection failure? What does somebody visiting the DDNS handle see if your private home web is offline? A DDNS supplier with offline settings provides you some method to take care of that, comparable to redirecting the customer to a different handle or just displaying them a customized error message.
  • Email Forwarding/MX Records: A DDNS supplier with assist for e-mail protocols will assist you to correctly use your DDNS area identify with any self or third-party hosted e-mail providers.

Many individuals will probably be blissful to easily have a fundamental DDNS handle that forwards to their dwelling IP handle, and among the extra obscure DDNS options, like e-mail forwarding, will probably be of no curiosity. The skill to make use of your personal area identify, arrange your DDNS addresses with aliases and net redirects, or each, nonetheless, are fairly helpful in a wide range of conditions.

Your Router or Device Manufacturer May Offer Free DDNS

Before we check out third-party Dynamic DDNS suppliers, it’s value noting that you simply would possibly already a free DDNS choice courtesy of your router’s producer or the producer of different safety gadgets in your house.

Several router producers supply routers that not solely assist DDNS and but in addition embrace a manufacturer-provided DDNS choice. For instance, in case you personal a suitable TP-Link router, you’ll be able to arrange a basic yourname.tplinkdns.com DDNS address. ASUS provides the same choice on suitable routers, whereby you get a free yourname.asuscomm.com DDNS address.

There are additionally some security hardware producers—most notably producers within the security camera/CCTV markets comparable to Lorex and Hikvision—supply free manufacturer-supplied DDNS.

On the upside, these providers are each free and useless easy to arrange. On the draw back, the free service is tied to a selected producer and gadget. If you ditch your ASUS router, you’ll be able to now not entry the ASUS DDNS service. That won’t be a giant deal for single customers who don’t have an issue getting a brand new DDNS supplier, studying a brand new handle, and resetting just a few bookmarks or software settings.

But in case you want extra choices than the essential free manufacturer-supplied DDNS provides otherwise you’re utilizing the handle with a number of associates and household and would like to not change it, then we advocate choosing a third-party free or premium DDNS supplier. Then you’ll be able to hold your identify and settings even in case you swap out {hardware}.

The Best Free Dynamic DNS Providers

There’s a really welcome pattern amongst Dynamic DNS suppliers. Most suppliers supply a free tier with greater than sufficient choices to serve your common dwelling person.

Should you want extra choices (comparable to dozens of domains and subdomains) or power-user options like bulk modifying and transfers, you’ll be able to improve to the paid tiers (sometimes round $10-30 a 12 months).


Dynu is without doubt one of the oldest DDNS suppliers, and their free tier is implausible. If you’re uncertain which DDNS supplier to make use of, it’s powerful to go incorrect, beginning with Dynu. They probably have each function you want, both within the free tier or for a modest improve price. They even assist e-mail forwarding and e-mail server entries for these of you who’re adventurous and looking for to self-host your e-mail.

They don’t require you to login to substantiate account exercise. They supply as much as 4 subdomain names on the free account to assist arrange your DDNS handle, and you’ll be able to convey your own domain name. You can simply arrange net redirects and forwards on a free account. If you want any of the options on a premium account, comparable to greater than 4 subdomains, a premium membership is barely $10 a 12 months.


The Afraid.org web site seems to be like a Nineteen Nineties-era Gopher interface, however don’t let that put you off. The fundamental plan contains 5 subdomains in case you’re utilizing a shared area or 20 in case you convey your personal area.

Speaking of domains, Afraid.org stands out on our listing for the sheer variety of domains out there. Unlike different DDNS suppliers which may have 10-15 free domains so that you can use with names like greatfreeddns.org or comparable choices, Afraid.org has a fully huge pool of 40,000+ domains so that you can select from. This is as a result of anybody who brings their area to Afraid.org’s free DNS service provides that area to the shared pool (until they improve to a premium account and opt-out).

You can choose from choices like yourname.raspberryip.com, yourname.twilightparadox.com, yourname.happyminecraft.org, or 1000’s of different domains. If you want extra options otherwise you wish to convey your area with out sharing it among the many pool, you’ll be able to improve to an Afraid.org premium plan with costs beginning at $30 per 12 months.


No-IP is one other long-time DDNS supplier however extra geared towards business customers. The No-IP account is pretty restricted in you could solely have one hostname, and it’s a must to log in each 30 days to substantiate your account standing.

You can improve to the essential “enhanced” account for $2 a month to keep away from that trouble, however for only some extra {dollars} a 12 months, you would possibly as nicely get the “Plus Managed” premium tier for $30/12 months to realize entry to further options like customized domains. No-IP does assist port forwarding and URL forwarding.


DuckDNS is an especially bare-bones service run by two software program engineers as a passion venture and public service. The solely handle they provide without cost customers is duckDNS.org (although you’ll be able to donate to the venture to realize entry to extra domains. Free accounts can create as much as 4 subdomains, however there isn’t any assist for bringing a customized private area to the service.

Where DuckDNS shines, the simple simplicity apart, is the in depth instructions supplied by the group. They have documentation for configuring DuckDNS on over two dozen working programs and router platforms. They even have documentation that digs into DDNS requirements. So in case you’re trying to be taught extra about DDNS and actually roll your sleeves up, the DuckDNS documentation page is value a go to.

Selecting a Dynamic DNS Update Method

In addition to the DDNS supplier itself, essentially the most essential aspect of efficiently deploying DDNS to be used with your private home web connection is retaining the IP handle on file with the DDNS supplier updated. Below are all of the strategies you should utilize.

Manual Updates

We’re together with this entry merely to notice it, make you conscious of it, and dismiss it. You can manually replace the IP handle entry on your dwelling web handle with any Dynamic DNS supplier.

Unless you have got an handle that adjustments solely a couple of times a 12 months, manually updating the handle is a trouble. And even when your private home web IP handle stays steady for months at a time with out an automatic replace answer, you’ll nonetheless be left hanging when your ISP’s DHCP system assigns a brand new handle to your modem. There’s no good purpose to skip automating the method.

A Router with DDNS Support

A router with built-in Dynamic DNS assist is the proper method to hold your DDNS data updated. Why good? Because it’s the very factor connecting your private home community to the web. If your router is powered up and your web connection is on-line, then the router’s firmware will routinely replace the DDNS document each time an IP handle change is detected.

Do be aware that this doesn’t imply the router producer provides the DDNS service (as we famous some do within the earlier part), however that the router has a built-in DDNS replace shopper to hook up with a DDNS supplier the identical means it might need a built-in VPN-client to hook up with a third-party VPN provider.

Thankfully, router assist for Dynamic DDNS is quite common. So frequent, in truth, that it’s uncommon to discover a trendy router with out it. Whether you’re shopping for a stand-alone conventional router just like the ASUS RT-AX88U or a mesh router just like the TP-Link Deco X20, you’ll discover built-in assist for DDNS.

Frustratingly, Google’s Nest mesh platform doesn’t have a DDNS shopper, and the Eero platform has a DDNS client, nevertheless it’s locked behind Eero’s premium Eero Plus service.

But don’t fear. While it’s perfect to have your router doing the DDNS updating, it’s not important, and a number of different methods can be utilized.

A Self-Hosted Update Client

If your router doesn’t have a built-in DDNS shopper, it’s not the tip of the world. There are loads of workarounds that, underneath real-world situations, will probably be indistinguishable from having router-based updates.

PC-Based Updates

The majority of DDNS suppliers provide compact purposes you run in your pc to cellphone dwelling the DDNS supplier and present native IP handle updates.

Smaller suppliers would possibly solely supply a Windows software, however bigger suppliers normally have a macOS and Linux choice out there.

If you’re utilizing a PC-based updater, ideally, you put in it on a pc that booted up at the very least just a few occasions per week. Throwing it on an previous laptop computer that you simply solely use just a few occasions a 12 months received’t do any good.

Phones or Tablets

Whether you’re putting in it on an previous gadget you propose to dedicate to the duty, otherwise you set up the app in your common cellphone or pill, a number of DDNS suppliers supply cell apps that remotely replace your DDNS entry simply as a PC-based updater would. Dynu, for instance, provides an Android-based DDNS updater.

Network Attached Storage (NAS) Devices

Many NAS platforms assist DDNS. You merely configure the DDNS settings within the NAS in the identical means you’d configure DDNS in a router with DDNS assist.

Alternatively, when you have a NAS that doesn’t have native DDNS assist, you’ll be able to typically obtain a shopper particular to your NAS OS or run a container platform like Docker and download a containerized version of a DDNS client comparable to ddclient.

Raspberry Pi

If you have got a Raspberry Pi or different low-power pc mendacity round or already in use for varied different dwelling community tasks, you’ll be able to simply put certainly one of them to work, routinely updating your DDNS supplier entry.

Dynu has directions on how to set up a DDNS update script on a Pi with their service, as does No-IP. You can even at all times run ddclient on your Pi, too.

How to Update Your Dynamic DNS Automatically

Now that we’ve mentioned what you could get began with Dynamic DNS and the strategies you should utilize to maintain your Dynamic DNS entry present, let’s have a look at some concrete walkthroughs to spotlight how simple it’s to configure varied gadgets.

Sign Up for a Dynamic DNS Account

Let’s check out tips on how to arrange a easy DDNS account with Dynu, level it at our dwelling community, and arrange computerized DDNS entry updating. Although we’re utilizing the Dynu net portal and settings, the overall setup course of is sort of similar throughout suppliers and might be simply tailored (seek the advice of the assist recordsdata on your supplier in case you want further assist).

Head over to Dynu’s sign-up page here and join an account. Confirm the registration in your e-mail. Once you’ve confirmed the setup, you’ll be able to log in to your Dynu account and go to the Control Panel, as seen under. Click on “DDNS Services.”

an image of the main menu for Dynu DDNS.

Once you’re within the “Add Dynamic DNS” menu, create a bunch identify and choose a top-level area identify from the listing of free choices comparable to freedns.org or dnsgeek.com. Click “Save” when you’re blissful along with your choice. (If you want to use your personal area identify you may as well enter it right here and comply with the directions for linking your area identify to the DDNS service.)

an image showing how to create a new Dynamic DNS host using Dynu DDNS.

Confirm that the IP handle within the DDNS entry is right (in case you’re working from your private home community, it needs to be, if not, you’ll have to edit it right here). Click save when you’ve confirmed all the things seems to be good.

an image of the settings for a Dynamic DNS entry at Dynu DDNS.

For fundamental no-frills DDNS redirection, that’s all there’s to it. Let’s have a look at the following vital step: establishing your private home community to replace the servers for you routinely.

How to Configure Your Router for Dynamic DNS

Creating the precise DDNS entry is barely half the battle with regards to time-saving and comfort. The different half is automating the entire course of. Let’s have a look at tips on how to automate DDNS updates on the router degree.

As far as router tweaks go, so long as your router helps DDNS, it’s very simple to allow it. The complexity is about the identical as choosing a wi-fi identify and password on your community—about as simple as router adjustments might be.

To exhibit, right here’s what the DDNS choices on an ASUS router appear like. Toggling DDNS on is so simple as choosing “Yes” for “Enable the DDNS Client,” then choosing the DDNS supplier (you’ll sometimes discover all the favored choices in there) and plugging in your credentials like hostname, person identify, and password.

an image of an ASUS router, showing the DDNS entry page.

You’ll additionally sometimes discover a “Custom” choice within the DDNS server choice menu on extra superior routers. There you’ll be able to specify parameters for a self-hosted DDNS service or different fringe instances, although needing the customized settings is unusual.

When doubtful, search the assist documentation supplied by your router producer for extra details about DDNS compatibility and settings.

How to Use Dynamic DNS with a PC Updater

Router-based updating is much superior to utilizing a PC-based updater, however in case you don’t have a DDNS-friendly router, a PC-based updater is a straightforward method to automate the replace course of.

To use a PC-based updater, first swing by the downloads part within the management panel of your DDNS supplier. You can discover the downloads section for Dynu Systems here. Grab the suitable software on your system (in our case, Windows) and obtain it.

After putting in the appliance, run it for the primary time,  enter your username and password, and click on “Sign In” to launch the updater. You ought to see one thing just like the screenshot under indicating the time your IP handle was checked, what the IP handle is, and an entry labeled “Good” within the standing log.

an image of the Dynu update client running on a Windows PC.

Click the X within the higher proper nook to ship the app to the system tray and, kind of, neglect about it. By default, the app will begin with Windows. Every jiffy, it is going to report your public-facing IP handle to Dynu to make sure your IP and DDNS handle are in sync. Apps from different DDNS suppliers operate in the identical means.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dynamic DNS

The following FAQ entries cowl frequent questions individuals inquisitive about dynamic DNS have. If you popped right down to this part utilizing the Table of Contents and nonetheless have questions on different DDNS subjects, like choosing a bunch or a suitable router, we advocate studying the article from the beginning for a full rundown.

How Do I Check If My Dynamic DNS Address Is Working?

The easiest method to verify in case your dynamic DNS is working as anticipated is to use the ping command to ping your dynamic DNS handle. It ought to resolve to the public IP address of the local network you have got pointed the handle at.

You can even merely use the handle as you propose to make use of it. If yourname.someDDNS.web resolves to the placement you count on (comparable to your self-hosted e-book server or the climate station dashboard you set as much as share along with your college students), you’re in enterprise.

Do I Need Dynamic DNS If I Have a Static IP?

Some residential ISPs assist you to buy a static IP for a modest price or improve to the “business account,” which features a static IP handle.

If you have got a static IP handle, you do not want a dynamic DNS supplier, as you possibly can merely buy an affordable area identify and level that area at your static IP handle.

That stated, dynamic DNS suppliers simplify managing your DNS entry and embrace further options like easy subdomain setup, forwarding, and such.

Do I Need a Premium Dynamic DNS Provider?

No, nearly all of individuals don’t have to pay for a premium DDNS supplier. The free providers (or the free tiers of premium suppliers) supply greater than sufficient choices to fulfill the wants of individuals merely trying to create a handy and memorable shortcut to their dwelling community.

Can I Use My Own Domain Name with Dynamic DNS?

Yes, you should utilize your personal area identify. If you already personal a novelty area or a easy yourname.web sort area identify, you should utilize that area identify with a dynamic DNS host.

It will work precisely the identical as a somename.someDDNS.web sort handle, besides will probably be your private area as an alternative.

Can I Use Custom Sub Domains with Dynamic DNS?

Yes, most dynamic DNS suppliers assist aliases that assist you to set customized subdomains for organizational functions, like books.yourname.someDDNS.web and music.yourname.someDDNS.web.

This function is greatest paired with net redirects/forwarding, as that can assist you to level the subdomain instantly on the useful resource in your native community (such because the handle with a customized port quantity) for the service the handle factors to.

What Happens If My Dynamic DNS Updater Is Offline?

If the device you utilize to replace your dynamic DNS entry is offline—whether or not the device is a part of your router firmware or a separate software in your PC—the DDNS entry will keep present solely so long as your ISP doesn’t change your IP handle.

If your ISP adjustments your IP handle whereas the replace device is offline the DDNS entry and your native IP handle will probably be out of sync and anybody visiting your DDNS handle will obtain both an unavailable useful resource error or no matter customized error or web page ahead your DDNS supplier helps.

Do I Need to Leave My Dynamic DNS Updater Online All the Time?

Typically ISP-driven IP adjustments are pretty rare. Back within the day, when individuals reconnected to their ISP every time they used their pc, IP addresses have been assigned on-the-fly as individuals dialed in. If you have been utilizing a Dynamic DNS updater again then, it wanted to be on on a regular basis to operate.

Home IP addresses change a lot much less steadily for individuals with cable modems, fiber modems, and different steady broadband connections. While it’s perfect to have your DDNS updater on-line on a regular basis, if it’s solely in your PC and you don’t boot up your PC each single day, it’s not the tip of the world. It’s not possible your ISP is altering your IP handle each day.

What Happens If My Dynamic DNS Provider Is Offline?

This can be an uncommon state of affairs, but when your DDNS supplier is offline, then any DDNS addresses hosted by that supplier can be unresolvable.

This wouldn’t impression your native web connection in any means, however you would need to use your IP handle to entry your private home community remotely as an alternative of the DDNS handle. In different phrases, you (and any associates that use your community) can be pressured to attach as in case you’d by no means had a DDNS supplier within the first place.

Is Dynamic DNS Encrypted?

Dynamic DNS will not be encrypted and merely offers an alternative choice to creating and manually updating an everyday DNS entry. It features identically to common DNS so far as the tip person is anxious and inherits any advantages and shortcomings of standard DNS.

There is such a factor as encrypted DNS, nevertheless it’s a separate idea from dynamic DDNS.

Does Dynamic DNS Hide My Home IP Address?

No, dynamic DNS doesn’t conceal your IP handle. Although Dynamic DNS would possibly provide you with a way that your private home community is hidden as a result of it’s behind a unique handle, that could be a false sense of safety.

While the identify of your Dynamic DNS supplier equipped handle, comparable to yourname.freeDDNS.org, will resolve to the supplier’s DNS entry (as a result of they personal the area), any network-based communication like a ping or different question will present your actual IP handle as it’s the finish vacation spot for the connection.

If you want to conceal your private home IP handle for privateness functions, you need to use a VPN service in tandem with DDNS. Though be forewarned that doing so provides vital complexity and would require a VPN supplier, comparable to NordVPN, that gives devoted IP addresses for VPN subscribers.

Can I Use Dynamic DNS to Self-Host a Web Site?

Yes, you should utilize dynamic DNS to help in self-hosting an internet site on your private home community. You will want some sort of {hardware} (comparable to a Raspberry Pi or previous laptop computer) to run the precise net server, however you should utilize a dynamic DNS host to assign a memorable identify to the positioning and direct individuals to your self-hosted server.

Many ISPs don’t allow you to self-host websites and block port 80, the default net host port, so in case you want to self-host a web site, you will have to set the native webserver to make use of a port aside from 80, by way of router port forwarding, and then decide to make use of a DDNS supplier that helps net redirects. This will redirect guests out of your dynamic handle to the right handle, bypassing your ISP’s port 80 restrictions.

Does Dynamic DNS Offer Security Benefits?

No, dynamic DNS doesn’t supply any form of safety advantages. There is nothing inherently safe or security-enhancing about utilizing it. You’re merely tacking a memorable identify onto your less-than-memorable IP handle.

From a safety standpoint, it’s not a lot completely different than calling your private home “The Grand Manor” as an alternative of “3958 W. North County Rd.” The latter is likely to be extra memorable, however altering the identify doesn’t change the locks on the home or add safety cameras.

However strong or missing the safety of your private home community could also be, it’s unchanged by including dynamic DNS into the combination. So make sure you properly secure your router and be selective with what ports and services you expose to the internet. Dynamic DNS doesn’t protect against port scanning.

Is It a Security Risk to Use Dynamic DNS?

Practically talking, there isn’t a safety threat to utilizing dynamic DNS. There is, nonetheless, one fringe however potential safety threat to concentrate on.

If you’re utilizing dynamic DNS and a malicious person has found a vulnerability in your community they’ll exploit, it dynamic DNS makes it simpler for them to proceed to find you and exploit that vulnerability as no matter what number of occasions your ISP adjustments your IP handle the attacker can hold coming again to the identical fastened dynamic DNS handle.

That’s an astronomically small fringe situation, although. Rather than fear about it in any respect, it might be a lot smarter to focus as an alternative on keeping your router up to date, utilizing best-practice safety practices on your private home community, and replacing your old router with a new and updated model.


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