Today, I got a call from my work-at-home collegue. She was having problems with her internet. A quick search learned me that the DNS servers of Mobistar, her not-so-great ISP, were having problems.
That seems to be a common thing in Belgium, where I live and work. But I wouldn’t be a good Network admin if I couldn’t help her get back to work.
Two alternative DNS server (networks) to consider.
The problem with the DNS servers were easily fixed, by using alternative DNS servers. Personally, I’m a fan of OpenDNS but for some reason that wasn’t working out for her. In general, I recommend OpenDNS, though.
Another alternative I had already heard of, but never tested, were the Google public DNS servers. They solved the problems in her case. Her internet was suddenly five times faster (Still slow compared to modern standards, but I pin the blame on Mobistar).
If you want to get started with either OpenDNS or the Google Public DNS servers, there’s no better source of information than their own websites. So I’m going to be shamelessly lazy, and point you to their websites:
Keep in mind that using OpenDNS offers an extra advantage: it allows for easy filtering of the websites you and your family can and can’t visit. Works like a charm, and you’ll rarely run into false positives.