The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
George Bernard Shaw

How to solve problems with your local DNS service

If you’ve used the help page Can’t see your web site and it indicated a problem with your local DNS service (normally provided by your ISP), this page should offer you some background information and possible solutions:

DNS converts the name you type in (www.example.com) to its IP address (192.0.34.166). It’s usually provided by your ISP, which is out of my control, although given the nameservers you are currently using I may be able to check them. However some ISPs do run a DNS service for their clients that is slow to update and generally unreliable – in this case you can set up your computer to use an external DNS service or even run your own.

If the idea of using your own DNS appeals to you, and you’re using MS Windows then Treewalk may be worth a look. I’ve tested it and found it useful, but as a program you run on your own computer this is probably not the easiest to set up. The easier option is to use an external DNS service – I’ve heard good reports about Opendns, although I’ve not tried them. Whether you choose to use them or not a visit to the web site is recommended as there’s lots of good information about DNS as well as clear instructions for changing your dns settings under “Get started”.

The great thing about DNS is you can set it up to use multiple sources, so if you like you can keep your existing setup and use another DNS server as a backup (or vice versa).

As a very minimal guide for XP users, take a look at your current DNS settings (Settings -> Network Connections -> Choose your network connection -> Properties -> Scroll down to select “Internet Protocol (TCPIP)” -> Properties) . If you’re set to “Obtain DNS server address automatically” then you may want to change to specified DNS servers and enter the nameserver IPs provided by your ISP, your host, Opendns or any combination of these.

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