Using DNS servers other than your ISP’s



As I mentioned earlier, Bellsouth seemed to be in the midst of a big DNS meltdown when I got up this morning. I spent some time getting various bellsouth customers “worked around” the issue by setting up an alternate DNS server for them. For starters…. DNS translates addresses like google.com into numbers (like 72.14.207.99) Think of it as a telephone directory lookup service… you can’t pickup a phone and punch in the letters of someones name to call them, you have to dial a number and first you have to see what the number is…. in networking, the computer does the DNS lookup for you when you type google.com in your browser bar. (Or when the browser tries to load it’s home page for instance.)


Most Internet users probably get their DNS settings automatically, the dsl or cable modem boots up, get’s an address on the network and finds out how to find DNS lookups. It’s possible to override that with an alternate dns server. This morning, I found myself using opendns.com as an alternate. They apparently do a certain amount of protection against phishing sites as well as having a network of dns servers that was up this morning….

It’s also possible to use dns servers from the 4.2.2.1 – 4.2.2.6 range. Those are especially easy to remember. Depending on how well your ISP’s DNS servers are configured, you may find faster performance from moving your setup to another DNS lookup server.

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