Having DNS issues? Is your local ISP slacking in that department?
Over the last few months I "Chris (WHG Support Manager)" have seen tweets, post in forums and blogs containing complaints from people, why isn't the website loading. Some claim they visit them on a daily basis while others a weekly visit. Here's an example, Bob visits TigerDirect.com on a weekly basis to check out the specials. Bob sits down to visit TigerDirect to see what this week's specials are. The site doesn't load for him, but only displays an error that I'm sure most people are familiar with at some point in time. Bob wonders, did TigerDirect go out of business? Not very likely! Or are they just having technical difficulties? I'm sure there's lots of questions that on Bob's mind why he can't visit TigerDirect.com.
What causes this to happen? There can be a number of things that can contribute to a site not loading. The site can be currently overloaded with a lot of visitors or the server that they reside on could be under attack, meaning a DOS attack. DOS is short for denial of service. But the most common reason for a site not to load is due to your local ISP. Your local ISP could be having a DNS server problem. Sure you can still browse around on the Internet but some sites will simply not load for you. That sites information has been lost, and if this happens it could take an hour or up to 24 hours for their DNS server to acquire the information again. There are 1001 reasons why a DNS server would lose records of a site or sites. And yes that is a completely different story.
Not too sure how the rest of the country is but here in central Iowa, our major ISP competitors are Qwest and Mediacom. I'm sure most are familiar with Qwest; they run their services through the telephone lines. A lot has been converted over to fiber but there are still a lot of locations that run on the obsolete copper lines. Mediacom is a cable company, running their services on cable television lines.
I personally have had to experience frustrations from both of these companies. Meaning majority of the time their services are fine as long as they're not having internal issues. This seems to happen frequently! You are correct I am referring to DNS issues. As I mentioned before there can be 1001 reasons why it could be a DNS issue. And this can range from a site loading extremely slow that usually loads fast or a site not loading at all due to resolving host. When your browser displays a message resolving host, what's going on? The address that you are trying to reach is currently not found within their DNS server. In other words that particular record has been lost during one of their synchronizations.
But not to worry, there is a fantastic service that is free of charge and is always up 24 hours a day. The name of the service is called OpenDNS. You can visit them at openDNS.com. I personally recommend using this company. A lot of our customers at Web Host Galaxy have already made the switch to OpenDNS. All of our Web Host Galaxy staff highly recommends using OpenDNS to solve most if not all of your DNS issues. You'll never have to wonder why you can't get a site to load again. Also their mind blowing speed, you put in a site address and push the enter key and voilà the site is found and loading. They do have easy to follow instructions how to implement their service.
If you should happen to sign up for their free service after reading this post, please let us know how your browsing experience has been since switching. You can simply drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear your experience with OpenDNS.
Friday, July 23, 2010
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