OpenDNS just saved the day once again:
I had two computers on the same network. One was able to browse the Internet, the other wasn’t. They both had good IP addresses from the router and they could both see each other over the local network. What’s the problem??
BAD DNS! Changing to OpenDNS nameservers instantly fixed the problem.
In a rush? Jump straight to the 20 second setup.
What is DNS?
DNS or Domain Name System is your computer’s way of translating hostnames (i.e. google.com) to IP addresses (220.127.116.11). Behind the scenes, every easy to remember web address like “www.google.com” has an equivalent numerical address on a web server somewhere (18.104.22.168). You can actually type 22.214.171.124 into your web browser and go straight to google’s page.
For more technical info, check out Wikipedia’s DNS entry.
Each Internet Service Provider has DNS “nameservers” dedicated to giving your computer up-to-date and fast DNS information. When your Internet Service Provider’s DNS nameserver goes down, you can’t access any web site with a regular hostname. Many ISPs also have very slow DNS nameservers, which cause all web functionality to slow down. Web browsing, E-mail, and iChat are just a few things that rely on DNS to work well in order to function properly.
OpenDNS is a free and fast DNS nameserver. It works really fast (no time waiting on your ISP’s nameservers), it’s updated very quickly (meaning when a web site changes their web host, and therefore DNS Server, the new IP address is available on OpenDNS servers quickly), and it’s VERY reliable.
You can use OpenDNS right now with no online setup, registration, or other junk – you never even have to visit their web page!
But, OpenDNS also offers some cool features if you do decided to register with them (it’s FREE):
• Block individual domains or web site categories (great for parental control). There is even a category dedicated to Phishing sites.
• Get graphs and statistics on what web sites you (or your employees) are visiting.
• My favorite is “Network Shortcuts” – for example, type “core” in your web browser and OpenDNS will automatically change it to “www.corewerkz.com.”
The free OpenDNS nameservers are 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. We must point our computer’s DNS server address to the OpenDNS nameservers so we can take advantage of the speed and reliability of OpenDNS. This takes about 20 seconds.
Open System Preferences
Select your Network interface on the left.
Enter the OpenDNS server addresses (Click “Advanced” if using Airport and click the DNS tab)
You are now using OpenDNS nameservers and you should experience a noticeable difference in websites loading speeds. If not, at least you can rest assured that you won’t have DNS server issues in the future. I recommend always using the OpenDNS servers, regardless of where you are or who is your ISP. At the very least, this is a great troubleshooting technique if you’re ever experiencing Internet connection problems or loading speed issues.