The Death of

This past week, my old domain disappeared off the Internet. This post is just me reminiscing about its original use cases.

During my high school days back in 2013, I signed up for a free domain from dotTK: They advertised free domains for the masses, and having access to a custom domain with your own domain name server (DNS) entries was something I wanted to try out. I had used dynamic DNS before for this WordPress blog (among other things), but I didn’t have the flexibility of custom DNS, and money was tight back then since I didn’t take up any part-time jobs during high school.

I ended up registering as a free domain in 2013. At the time, I used for email, hosted personal projects, and as an easy way to SSH home when I was at school. In university, I set up Active Directory (AD) using this domain as well. In 2016, after finishing my first co-op term and making some money, I decided to buy, which I have been using ever since. I migrated my website and blog over to this domain, along with some of my personal projects. I left my email and AD running with my old domain name since I didn’t have a reason to switch.

Unfortunately, this past week, I noticed that my cronjob scripts were no longer sending emails to my addresses. After investigating, I found out that Freenom (formerly dotTK) decided to wipe my domain without notifying me via email on my primary Gmail account. I tried to re-register the domain, only to be met with a 9.95 USD fee because it was deemed “special”. Given that I didn’t want to pay for a domain I didn’t really need, I decided to migrate everything I had to my .moe domain. I swapped out the email addresses for my equivalent and I was on my way.

Freenom now lists my old as a “special” domain.

CloudFlare also noticed my domain disappearing a few days later, so I ended up just removing it completely:

CloudFlare notifying me that my domain disappeared off the face of the Earth.

Having the entire domain being blown off the face of the Earth meant that it was a perfect opportunity to migrate my Active Directory installation from to I found this tutorial online that helped make the migration pretty easy. I did get stuck on renaming a domain controller for a bit, but after fixing the local DNS on that machine and rebooting a few times, things were back up and running within two hours.

I did also have to add local DNS entries and set up additional SSL certificates. This was because I put my server behind CloudFlare externally, so when I did an internal network name resolution, it pointed directly to my web server and got served the CloudFlare origin certificate that clients didn’t trust. My workaround for this was to add an additional interface on my web server, and have it listen on two IP addresses. One IP handles external requests proxied through CloudFlare via NAT and serves the CloudFlare origin certificate. The other IP address handles internal requests directly and serves a Let’s Encrypt certificate that clients can accept with no modifications on the client end.

Let’s Encrypt certificate when accessing my blog internally.

It sucks to lose a domain, but given there wasn’t much on it to begin with, it was okay. If anything, the lesson I learned here was that nothing is “free”.

Oh yeah, I didn’t know what image to use for my featured image, so I just took a photo of my Raspberry Pi 3B+ and Yubikey, given I use this for my various personal projects. The acrylic keychain is from Korie Riko-sensei!

Anyways, that’s all I have this time around, until next time!


Just some guy on the Internet that writes code for fun and for a living, and also collects anime figures.

Articles: 266


  1. […] 12 years ago, in 2010, I created a free Google Apps account using a dynamic DNS hostname because I thought it was so cool to have my own personal Google account with a custom domain. Being a broke high school student at the time, it was the coolest thing ever. I still think it’s cool! The dynamic DNS hostname still exists today, and I can still receive emails destined to it. Eventually, I added, and then tacked on before finally getting rid of when it got wiped off the face of the earth. […]

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