I’ve just had a note from No-IP that says that Microsoft has returned all twenty-tree of second level domains it had seized by court order. It’ll obviously take a while for DNS to propagate. I’ve been testing this periodically, and it’s been a right mess with the Microsoft DNS failing to return anything in many cases.
I actually use No-IP for a couple of non-critical purposes, but I don’t use the hostname under their second-level domain directly. Given recent events, others may wish to follow the same idea. It comes down to customer routers on domestic ISP lines, and how you get to them easily if they’re on a dynamic IP address.
Basically, the trick is to map yourname.no-ip.net to yourname.yourdomain.com using a CNAME in the zone file. You can then program to the router to register yourname.no-ip.net, but you refer to it as yourname.yourdomain.com. How does this help? Well when the problem happens you only have to mess with your zone file to make the changes. If you can find out the changeable dynamic IP you can set it as an A record directly. If (as was the case here) you needed to choose a new second-level domain from No-IP’s remaining stock, all you need to is change the zone file and the affected equipment. Anything else accessing it does so through yourname.yourdomain.com, and therefore can remain as-is.
It’s still a pain, and something for which Microsoft should probably pay (or their side of the story had better be spectacularly better than it has been thus far). But it’s somewhat less of a pain than if you’d programmed everything in your universe with the no-ip version.