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DNS Problems Make My Web Site Disappear

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I have heard and read about a lot of problems with the Domain Name Service (DNS-Service) on an almost global level. I am not sure—nor did I look deeper into it—if this is related to the allegedly committed cyber-attacks originating from North Korea.

Web surfers in the USA, in Europe, in Asia, and South America reported on Twitter that they are having troubles to reach specific web sites or any sites on the Internet in general.

I did not even notice those conversations unless I couldn’t reach my (this) blog all of a sudden. I realized very quickly that the site is up and running and as a matter of fact this is the very only domain I noticed that I have problems with.

The vast majority of my readers won’t even notice the outage. It’s related to a problem my local ISP Telefonica seems to have with their DNS-service.

In less technical terms:

A DNS service translated the domain name into an IP-address and tells the browser on what server the web pages you are trying to reach are hosted.

If this translation mechanism breaks, the browser has no means to figure out where to get the web pages from.

I know this IP-address of my server, so I still can reach it and verify that everything is in order with my Web server. However, for all my readers on the Telefonica network my web site has disappeared for more than 36 hours now. They are not too many :-) , since I am writing in English and not Spanish.

So I learned two lessons here:
  • The importance of diversification and redundancy for a safe web business. I just blogged about it.

  • provides free DNS services that make you independent from your provider's. And it has some great add-on features as well.

What Is

The slogan on their web site read as, “Make your network safer, faster, smarter, and more reliable.”

OpenDNS is a free service that works for networks of all sizes, from home networks to K-12 schools, SMBs and large enterprises. Here are some bullets:
  • Industry-leading anti-phishing protects everyone on your network from fraudulent phishing scams.
  • Award-winning Web content filtering gives you the power to block up to 50 categories of content.
  • Detailed statistics empower you to understand your network traffic and spot trends before they become problems.
  • Our globally distributed network makes Web sites load noticeably faster on your network.
  • Anycast routing technology makes your Internet more reliable, freeing you of intermittent outages.
  • Browser Shortcuts let your users map a short term to a long URL via the address bar.
  • Typo correction auto-corrects the most common typos in top-level domains.
  • OpenDNS Guide provides helpful search results when your users try to visit a Web site that isn't resolving.

I know that this sound too technical for most folks. But the site describes in very easy terms what you can do yourself to put all your ISP related DNS problems to an end once and for all.

So bookmark right now. You might need it one day.

I also write down their IP addresses. I know they might change, but once the local ISP DNS service is down I would have a much harder time finding that info out.


Write it down to. Put it in a text document on your computer. It might give you a head start for fixing the problem once you run into this problem. (Just saved this blog post onto my computer and wrote the IPs on a yellow notepad.)

And by the way. Here is a tutorial video (↑).

It seems to be a great service, so I thought I mention it here on the blog.

John W. Furst

P.S.: Sorry for all the tech talk or geek talk. Whatever you wish to call this …

P.P.S.: Any questions? That's what the comments are here for. Ask a question if you need to know more.


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