Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Free DNS service providers.

EDIT: I made a spreadsheet of the DNS servers posted on this page, may add to it in the future. For now I am just going to provide a link to the spreadsheet instead of publishing it on here, since it is the same information here, minus the source links. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjMbManptfxfdDd2RzBEWHRaU29PUGhDZGg1QmtlcEE

Last night Optimum Online had major issues with their DNS servers leaving many people with out "internet" access. While it was true that most people were not able to use their internet connections during this disruption in service, it is misleading to claim that they lost internet connection. What they did lose was the ability to resolve domain names to IP addresses.

Changing the DNS servers that your computer or network uses to resolve host names resolves issues like the one experienced by Cablevision last night. I do not know why Optimum does not have a contingency plan for an event where their DNS servers go down. Obviously the DNS1 and DNS2 servers that they use must be at the same data center - and quite possibly even on the same server if an outage took out all of their DNS capabilities. This is a major problem for a large internet service provider. They should have redundant servers at multiple data center locations, and should have had the ability to shift traffic from one data center to another almost instantaneously when one or more servers go down. Perhaps they need to take the advise from my post on the importance of network redundancy

Here is a list of DNS servers that you can input into your network adapter settings on your PC, or into your router that are available for free to anyone on the internet regardless of ISP:

These are provided by http://www.opendns.com

These are provided by http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/

not quite sure who runs it now-a-days, but this one is also pretty easy to remember some links claim owned by level 3

http://www.dnsadvantage.com/ provides these two

http://www.resolvingnameserver.com/freerns.html provides these for you

http://www.scrubit.com/ provides these DNS that is family friendly and filter out pornographic websites

someone over at claims that these are from level3 (could not find the page where they are listed on level 3 website)

https://dns.norton.com/dnsweb/huConfigureRouter.do offers several options
security: blocks malware sites
security+pornography, blocks malware and porn
security+porn+non-family friendly, sounds like a rated G experience (perhaps useful for those with small children)

http://www.opennicproject.org/ has many DNS servers to choose from

I could continue to go on forever, I may end up making a spreadsheet of all of these to post at a later date. 

Refer to your routers user manual for information on how to change the DNS servers inside of your router, or if you just want to change the DNS on one of your windows computers go to control panel>network and internet connections>network connections and then right click on your LAN adapter and select properties. Scroll to Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) then click properties. Leave the top setting alone which will likely say obtain an IP automatically (do not change this setting, skip over it) instead check the use the following DNS servers, and enter one of the above IP addresses as the primary and one as the secondary. You may need to reset your adapter after making changes before your PC is able to resolve domain names. 

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