Reliable alternate for slow or unreliable DNS

Reliable alternate for slow or unreliable DNS

My ISP at home, WOW, has started filtering DNS lookups and redirecting unresolvable names to their own search site. I found a lengthy discussion of this issue here. Basically, if you misspell something, a Yahoo search results, and they must be getting some money from Yahoo for the ads that you might click. WOW considers this a "feature".

The trouble that this causes is other local resources are never searched for in a workgroup because everything resolves as a valid internet name.

A suggested solution is to use a DNS server other than that provided by my ISP. The ones I chose were and These belong to group of public DNS servers in the 4.2.2.x range where x is between 1 and 6. The two that I choose had the shortest ping times of the group for me, 9 ms each. A good discussion on the origin and current ownership of these DNS servers is here.

While not guaranteed to work and be free to the public forever, these servers have been around for years and, according to the comments, have been used techs and consultants all the time.

It is still better to use a DNS operated by your own ISP if they can provide one which is fast and doesn't contain unwanted "features". But if they don't, then try one of these alternates.


Jack Brey
# Jack Brey
I found another public server that works to reslolve this issue -- Google's DNS server is at easy-to-remember
Ed Brey
I'm glad you put up the post, because today I noticed that my ISP, Charter, is doing the same thing as WOW to try to get ad revenue. So I'm glad that I saw your post so I knew about the free public servers by Level 3. Thanks, Ken!

Of historical interest, at one time things were really bad because not just ISPs, but certain root name servers, were serving up bogus IPs:
Ed Brey
I had a similar problem, but in reverse. My ISP's DNS was functioning per the standard, but it was a bit slow, so I switched to using Open DNS's servers. However, although they aren't upfront about it, Open DNS makes its money by using the same resolve-all-unknown-to-its-ad-servers hack. This was causing my work laptop to have annoying slow hangs at home when some apps would try to access a work UNC, resolve and IP, but then not be able to reach it at the expected port, apparently because Open DNS's ad servers were also not kind enough to provide even a connection refused. So this piling of nonstandard hackery on top of more of the same, combined with PC software that sorely needs a better asynchronous design, got old real fast.

The good news is that my ISP's DNS has gotten better, so I can happily just use it.

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