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DNS – How to use DNS Benchmark

23/09/2014

If your internet connection seems slow, it may not be your actual internet connection that is the problem, often it will be the DNS Nameserver of your ISP that’s causing your issues.

If your ISP is disputing this, it’s best to give them hard evidence of the timing issues relating to the DNS timings.

Step 1 – Download DNS Benchmark

https://www.grc.com/dns/benchmark.htm

DNS benchmark

Step 2 – Run the Benchmark against Public DNS servers.

This will compare your ISP DNS Nameserver against public DNS Nameservers, to find the fastest response.

Ideally your ISP DNS should be responding quickly, but if it’s congested, there may be significant delays.  This will dramatically impact your ability to use the Internet.  The Benchmarking will aid your ISP in locating the exact problem, and more importantly if you screenshot the results, you can email these to the ISP as evidence.

It may even detect when DNS queries are not being consistently answered – which is the money shot!!

dns not being consistently resolved

Step 3 – Quickly diagnose DNS failure

A great way to double check whether you have “DNS” issues, is to edit your local hosts file, and place the IP for http://www.Startpage.com in there.  If your internet access “fails” but you can connect to the Startpage search engine, then you’ve located the problem instantly.

Open a command prompt and type in

ping http://www.startpage.com

Your DNS will ping IP 89.146.4.151

ping startpageNow we add this IP to your hosts file.

Start > Accessories > Right click on notepad > Run as Administrator

File > Open > c: > Windows > System32 > drivers > etc > hosts

hosts directoryType into this hosts file:

89.146.4.151   startpage.com

hosts startpage entry

Next time your internet appears to fail, put http://www.startpage.com into your browser. If you load startpage, then there’s no issue with your internet connection.

Now, sneaky as this is, you can use the hosts file to block access to sites like Google.  Yay!!

The IP 127.0.0.1 is a special IP, that “loops back” to your own network card and never gains access to the Internet.  So if anyone types in http://www.google.co.uk – then they’ll never get access to Google (or wait till 1st of April to do this).

Step 4 – Alternative Open DNS Servers

There is no need to use the DNS servers from your ISP.  There are many commercial DNS servers and lots more who are totally free.  In Europe the Comodo Secure DNS server is pretty good!

free dns servers

 

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