Changing your DNS Servers
Problems Accessing The Internet Due To DNS Issues Then Read This!By Strictly-Software
Sometimes I get problems at home when my laptop cannot connect to the Internet due to DNS issues. This happens quite regularly and my ISP is Virgin Media.
If you really don't know what you ISP is then go to this site whatismyipaddress.com.
Also you may get issues when your ISP blocks certain sites that you want to visit e.g. The Pirate Bay or other torrent sites and anti establishment iinformation clearing houses like www.darkpolitricks.com.
1. Default Set-UpYour system will usually be set up by your ISP to use DCHP (Dyamic Hist Configuration Protocol) which from the article about DCHP says that your computer assigns a different IP address automatically everytine you access the Internet.
However my settings have been on DCHP for years and I haven't noticed my IP change except for a couple of times which can be very annoying. Especially if you have firewall exceptions and programs on other servers like Fail2Ban or DenyHosts to prevent you being banned (SSH, TCP/IP),
You could also have WordPress plugins that prevent you being blocked from your site if you forget your password 3 times. So if you run a site you want people to have a fixed IP really so you can ban them if they are being naughty.
This is down to DCHP which is used to issue unique IP addresses as well as automatically configure other network information for your computer.
In most home and small businesses, the router acts as the DHCP server. In large networks, a single computer might act as the DHCP server and changing your DNS settings could cause problems especially if you use internal networks to access websites.
For example at my company I have test sites on internal IP addresses so changing the DNS addresses would prevent me from accessing those sites.
You can read more about DCHP here.
However whilst it says that a new IP address is assigned to your computer I find my computers IP address stays the same for quite a while but every four or so months it will change.
Checking your IP address from your own PC without having to open a webpage and run a search for "What is my IP" maybe all you need. However if you would like a little script that you can run from the command line or at the click of a button to get a popup with your external IP address then you can read this article on obtaining your IP address from your computer without using a browser.
2. Checking your DNS address from the Command PromptYou can check your current DNS settings from the command prompt with ipconfig /all which will show you all your network connections and DNS details.
I have shown you my own home computer settings and you can see the DNS settings I am using at the bottom are Google's.
Windows IP Configuration
Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : stard0026w7
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . : metal.strictly-software.com
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
DNS Suffix Search List. . . . . . : metal.strictly-software.com
Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : metal.strictly-software.com
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Broadcom NetLink (TM) Gigabit Ethernet
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : D4-BE-D9-95-40-DB
DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::fc53:2287:bb47:b8a9%11(Preferred)
IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 10.0.7.79(Preferred)
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
Lease Obtained. . . . . . . . . . : 23 February 2015 17:06:21
Lease Expires . . . . . . . . . . : 19 March 2015 15:49:01
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : fe80::20c:29ff:fe77:3876%11
DHCP Server . . . . . . . . . . . : 10.0.7.244
DHCPv6 IAID . . . . . . . . . . . : 248823513
DHCPv6 Client DUID. . . . . . . . : 00-01-00-01-17-02-22-03-D4-BE-D9-95-40-DB
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 188.8.131.52
Primary WINS Server . . . . . . . : 10.0.7.1
NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Enabled
3. Obtaining Different DNS Settings
So one of the solutions to this problem is to change your DNS server IP addresses to public DNS Servers like Googles free addresses 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 or you can use many others including opendns.com.
This provides security at the DNS level that protects your computer from malware and other threats including probes and hacks which could save you without installing any further software.
If you are a business you have to pay but for personal use you don't and can just use these addresses 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124.
Read more about opendns here.
You can find a big list of other DNS server IP's to use here.
Some of them include:
|Provider||Primary DNS Server||Secondary DNS Server|
|Comodo Secure DNS||126.96.36.199||188.8.131.52|
4. Changing DNS Settings
Every computer will be slightly different and you and you can search Google to find out how to do it on your computer, tablet, phone or even your smart TV.
This example is for Windows 7 but it not so different for other Windows machines:
- Go to Control Panel and select Network and Sharing Center.
- Select Change Adaptor Settings.
- Select the network connection you want to change LAN or WIFI.
- The panel will open showing you your connection details.that shows the network connection you want to change e.g LAN or WIFI.
- Scroll down to Internet Prototcol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) (leave IPv6 for later!),
- Click on that row then Properties,
- In the bottom half are the DNS settings. Your ISP will most likely have ticked "Obtain DNS Server address automatically" so de-select that,
- Select "Use the following DNS server addresses" and then enter first your preferred IP address e.g 184.108.40.206 and then in the alternate DNS server put 220.127.116.11
- Hit OK and the settings should be saved. Test it by trying to get to a web page. If you can access a webpage by the
- If you are not sure the DNS settings are being used then go to point 2 and check from the command prompt that your DNS settings have been changed.
A good idea might be to set your DNS up so that it uses Googles primary IP 18.104.22.168 for the preferred server and then the OpenDNS IP 22.214.171.124 for the Alliterate DNS Server.
E.G Mix and Match in-case one of the servers goes down..
5. Other Quick Options To Try
Other options you can try to attempt to sort your WIFI out without getting "techie" include just turning off WIFI fr a 30 seconds then back on.
Or you could turn your machines Airplane mode on and waiting a minute before turning it back off.
Turning your router off by unplugging it or taking the power cable out of the back of it. Wait a good 5 minutes then turn it back on.
Using the computers online diagnostic tool to test why your system is down. If it says DNS problems then this article might be for you.
Remember all modern devices like phones, tablets and even Smart TV's can connect to the internet and they all have options to change their DNS settings if you are having problems.
Also you must be cateful if you are on a work computer as changing your DNS might not be a good idea as you could have internal routing going on to locally hosted sites on the companies internal network.
Therefore changing them might prevent you from viewing some websites (especially dev/demo sites).
You can always test by checking an internal site to see if you get a workable screen or just a "cannot connect" message.
© 2015 Strictly-Software