For those of you that know me, the internet is one of the main vehicles I use to eran a living… not to mention how I watch TV and stay connected to friends/family. Needless to say, when my internet goes down – its a major issue.
Here is some background: On the Internet, a Domain Name System (DNS) server is used to take the name of a website that you enter in the browser and change it to a set of numbers, called an “IP address.” As you browse the Web, your computer sends the names of websites that you enter to a DNS server, which responds with the IP address of the website. Your computer then uses the IP address to contact that site.
If there is a problem with the DNS server used by your Internet Service Provider(Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner… ect) it can lead to a situation in which browsing the Web is slow or impossible. Configure your computer to use a free public DNS server to speed up your Web browsing or troubleshoot a problem with your Internet connection.
A few months ago my internet service went down. I, like most, try the usual restarting of the modem, router, computer and so on. Without any luck, I tried calling my ISP… they, of course, were “experiencing higher than normal call volume”. So I tried using my cell phone’s (3G) internet connection to see if there was anything in the news or twitter. Twitter was ablaze with people complaining that the ISP’s DNS servers being down and that the entire east coast was without internet. So, I felt better that it was an ISP issue and not my hardware… but not too much better, since I was still without internet.
Twitter also had posts from people offering a solution. Changing the DNS settings on my computer, bypassing the ISP’s DNS servers, and using Google Public DNS. (22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199)
After following the instructions, I was back in business. This solution also offered the promise of faster and more reliable internet speeds. I have been using Google Public DNS ever since. There are other free DNS services that may work better for you and/or location. People outside of the US may want to make sure the DNS they use has servers near them. Using a DNS service with servers nearest to your physical location is the best bet.
Besides Google Public DNS, I am also looking into using others… OpenDNS seems to offer some good options. OpenDNS will not only speed website load times in your household, but also free you of frustrating, temporary Internet outages. Your Internet connection will be immediately better performing from the minute you add OpenDNS. The Internet can be a dangerous place, but OpenDNS keeps your family safe online. Take the guesswork out of identifying fraudulent phishing scam websites and allow your family to browse the Web with confidence.
Something that I don’t have to worry about, but is a very cool… they offer features that help you control how the internet is used. OpenDNS is the only service that lets you control the websites that are accessible on all Internet-connected devices in your home, from laptop and desktop computers to gaming consoles and mobile phones. Open lines of communication with your kids by telling them why sites are blocked on the customizable block page.
For more “How To” info, check out some videos on YouTube.
Good luck! Let me know if you notice any faster internet speeds and/or if you found this post helpful.