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DNS Help

DNS Troubleshooting Tips

The first part of troubleshooting is to find out if it is indeed your DNS that is the problem, or if you are just having problems connecting to a site. This can be quite easily done by issuing the ping command at the command prompt. For example:

ping www.example.com

If the site is live, then you will receive all of your packets. If not, you will get a response similar to the following:

Ping request could not find host.

Please check the name and try again.

This means that your DNS is not the problem and the site you are trying to access is down. If a site is live and you cannot connect to it with your browser, a DNS problem might be the cause. If you suspect a DNS problem, take the following actions:

Verify Windows TCP/IP Properties
Open Control Panel and click "Network and Sharing Center" and then "Change adapter settings." After a list of installed network adapters appears, right-click the device name of the network adapter you use to connect to the Internet. For most desktop computers, there should only be one adapter in the list. If you have a laptop, there may be two: one for the wired network adapter and one for the wireless. Click "Properties on the popup list after you right-click the adapter device name. Select "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)" in the Local Area Connection Properties window, then click the "Properties" button. Verify that "Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically" option has a check mark next to it and click "OK". If not, enable it and proceed. Restart your computer. Open your web browser and attempt to surf the web again. Sometimes, simply restarting your computer and reinitializing the Windows DNS server settings fixes many DNS-related browsing problems.
Check your HOSTS File
If your HOSTS file contains an incorrect or outdated listing, you won't be able to connect. Even if you don't remember adding listings to a HOSTS file, it might still contain listings because some Internet accelerator utilities edit them without letting you know. Use Notepad to open your HOSTS file and see if the site that is unavailable to you is listed. If so, delete the entry and you should be able to connect.
Check your DNS Settings
Double check your DNS settings for your ISP or network. If you've edited your DNS settings or implemented a service, such as OpenDNS, you might have entered them incorrectly. Find out from your ISP or network administrator what your DNS settings are supposed to be, or check the OpenDNS site (or another DNS service) for their server settings. Afterwards, make sure you've entered DNS settings properly.
Flush your DNS Cache
Open Command Prompt and type the command "ipconfig /flushdns" in the Command Prompt window to flush your DNS cache. Wait a few seconds for Windows to confirm a successful DNS cache flush. Restart your computer and if all goes well, you should now be able to access the internet. If not, restart your router by turning it off, waiting several seconds, and turning it on again. If these don not resolve your DNS issue, continue troubleshooting.
Contact your ISP
Your ISP could be the source of the problem. For example, one of its DNS servers could be down and you're trying to access a downed server. If you know the addresses of the DNS servers, ping each of your ISP's DNS servers and if any of them don't respond, remove them from your DNS list. If you don't know the address of the DNS servers, contact them to see if their DNS servers are having problems. Additionally, you can ask them about the specifics of your error if the problem is not on their end. Their support teams are usually very helpful. Alternatively, you can use OpenDNS servers instead of your ISP's DNS servers. See the "Changing your DNS Address" section for further details.
Changing your DNS Address

In the following steps, OpenDNS is the example that your DNS address is changed to. However, OpenDNS isn't the only option out there, so feel free to choose another that is best for your needs or location. The reason to change your DNS address to OpenDNS or another option is that default DNS servers provided by ISPs tend to be slower because of promotional offers included in said servers or the ISP doesn't have good quality servers to begin with. OpenDNS, or another similar service, will not only be faster but any promotional offers that said ISP might try to spam you with or any phishing attacks will be blocked. Additionally, most of these services are free, so why not give it a try? If these services are not for you, you can always change back with no cost. Follow the following steps to change your DNS address (OpenDNS is just an example):

1. Open the Control Panel.

2. Open up Network and Internet and go to the Network and Sharing Center.

3. Click on adapter settings on the left hand panel.

4. This will bring up a list of adapters present on your computer. Most people will have a Local Area Connection, while laptop users will add a Wireless Network Connection and possibly a Bluetooth Network Connection. Right-click on Local Area Connection and click on Properties.

5. If prompted by UAC, click Yes.

6. Highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on properties

7. In the properties window you will see a few radio boxes that say Obtain an IP/DNS Address Automatically. Leave the IP address alone and change the Obtain DNS server address automatically to the following:

(Here is where if you chose an option other than OpenDNS, your inputs and steps will differ from these)

In the Preferred DNS server boxes enter this sequence:

In the Alternate DNS server boxes enter this sequence:

8. Check validate settings upon exit, click OK and close to finish.

9. Windows will check your settings and you will be finished! Now start surfing and feel the effects of a quicker and more secure browsing experience.

After exhausting all of these options, it is time to get further help. Contact your ISP to use their support team, search the internet for your specific error for an easy fix, or contact us and we will be glad to offer the best support we can.

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