Having a Web site set up on your XP system and making it easy for users to access that site are somewhat different stories. Unfortunately, most ISPs now allocate IP addresses to clients using DHCP, meaning that those addresses will periodically change, meaning that you would need to inform users of the change every time – not a realistic scenario. Even in cases where your public IP address does not change, users would still need to remember your IP address, making access more difficult than necessary. The solution to this issue lies in the naming infrastructure of the Internet, namely DNS.
If you have your own domain name registered and want users to access your Web server with this name, you’ll need to use a DNS hosting service in order to have clients properly directed to your site. Although many providers offer this service for a fee, check out http://soa.granitecanyon.com/, an organization that providers a free public DNS service.
If you don’t have a domain name registered, all is not lost. A variety of different organizations offer a free dynamic DNS service, such as Dyndns.org. This free service allows you to choose a unique domain name that ends with the dyndns.org domain name, such as danserver.dyndns.org. This address can then be mapped to your IP address, allowing users to access your site using this name rather than having to remember the address. The service also provides links to a wide variety of software utilities that can be used to update DNS dynamically if (or when) your IP address changes, ensuring that your site is always accessible. For more information and to set up an account, see http://www.dyndns.org.