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One Simple Trick To Improve Your Internet Connection

By Lawrence  

traffic on junction in city There are times when our internet connections are so flaky we feel like pulling our hair out. Yet, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) almost always say that the connection is find and that your problem is likely caused by connecting to a site that is not working. Yeah, I know – ISP are great at providing all kinds of excuses that way. Not surprisingly, one of the most common causes of internet stability is your ISP.

In fact, it is their broken Domain Name Server (DNS) that gives you the misery.

I am going to show you how to solve this problem easily once and for all.

DNS In Laymen’s Term

DNS is like the phone book for the internet. All the web pages you are browsing contain literally thousands of pieces of pictures, text, video, etc. Each one has its storage location identified by a name or IP address. These names has to be resolved into an exact address so that your computer can get the data from the right place on the net.

In short, DNS is a necessary core service on the internet to allow your browsers and other net applications to function properly.

ISP’s DNS Are There To Save Them Money

DNS information is copied everywhere from the main switching center of the internet so that there is no need to request data from far away connections. Majority of the ISPs have their own DNS because they prefer your computers to lookup the data locally to save them the bandwidth cost of getting these data remotely. It works very well in the old days when most of the end users are using slower internet connections. The users have better usage experience due to better response time from the local DNS. It was a win-win solution.

Nowadays, when many end users are using high-speed internet, these local copies of the DNS become a problem themselves. Many ISPs are not famous for being good at maintaining computer servers. Hence their computers used as DNS are often overloaded and crash easily. When your internet connection is pointing at your local ISP’s DNS when it is not working properly, you will feel like the internet is broken even though you could have a perfect connection all along.

Symptoms Your ISP’s DNS Are Not Working

If you can get to a major site like yahoo, msn or google pretty quickly, it confirms your internet connection is working.

Knowing that your internet connection is functional but access to other sites resulted in broken text and missing pictures confirms your ISP’s DNS could be the issue.

To resolve this problem, you need to change your DNS to ones that work.

Notice that technical support of your ISP will never tell you try this solution because of the reasons stated above. Do this at your own risk.

Google’s Famous 8.8.8.8 Is An Acceptable Solution

The most common suggestions on the net is to replace the DNS server setting from obtaining it dynamically from your ISP, to a static setting of 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

These 2 DNS are provided by Google where anyone can connect to.

Over the years, however, it is clear that due to the non-profit nature of these servers, they do go down quite often comparing to the for-profit services from Google.

The Lesser Known DNS 4.2.2.2 From Level 3 Is A Better Solution

There is a lesser known DNS available from Level 3 communications. The addresses range from 4.2.2.1 to 4.2.2.6.

These DNS are better because Level 3 is one of the major backbone of internet in the United States. Their DNS are better maintained as many ISPs depends on them.

The second reason why Level 3′s DNS are better is that Level 3 makes money from internet traffic. They do not mind you accessing their DNS. When you do so, the traffic you send to them adds to their bottom line. They have more incentive to keep their DNS working, so that you use more internet, than your ISP, who prefer you pay them yet not using your service.

There is a third reason why connecting to Level 3′s DNS is better – speed. Since it is likely your internet traffic somehow must go through their backbone before reaching the destinations, your computer is likely to be physically reaching the Level 3 DNS first before getting to Google’s DNS. This difference improves the overall response time a lot.

Of course, if you are connected to the Google’s DNS directly, like you are physically located near their servers, your computer may reach there faster.

Summary

If your ISP is famous for messing up their own DNS (like mine), change your router and laptops to use static DNS at 4.2.2.2. It can be a solution to save you countless hours of frustrations from internet problems. I am sure you will get better internet usage experience immediately.

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Comments
  • geosing  December 29, 2013 at 10:29:10

    Good stuff, LC. Did not know about L3. Have been using Google in some and others with the ISP (AT&T). Never had any issues with either of them so far. L3 ought to be faster as it appears to be only 4 hops away from here, as compared to GOOG’s 8+ hops to reach 8.8.8.8

    Happy New Year, if you are of the Gregorian persuasion.

  • spooz2  June 6, 2015 at 08:17:32

    DNS Jumper, a small program, makes changing your DNS simple. Download from Major Geeks.

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