How to improve Internet performance with OpenDNS

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INTRODUCTION

“HTTP Error 404 – File or Directory not found” – The most common Internet browser error message on the Internet!  When you type a URL into a web browser, this is what happens:

  1. If the URL contains a domain name (e.g., microsoft.com), the browser connects to a DNS Server (Domain Name System Server) and retrieves the corresponding IP address for the web server (microsoft.com resolves to IP address: 207.46.197.32).
  2. The web browser connects to the web server and sends an HTTP request for the requested web page.
  3. The web server receives the request and checks for the requested page.
  4. If the page exists, the web server sends it to the web browser.
  5. If the server cannot find the requested page, it will send an HTTP 404 error message.

There are several technologies involved in the Internet browsing process. This article discusses one such process: The translation of a domain name into an IP address using the DNS protocol. This article recommends how to improve Internet performance using “OpenDNS,” a FREE DNS service that works for networks of all sizes.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Basic networking knowledge and skills.
  • A properly designed and configured computer network.

INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1 –

If you can access any other websites, and you are sure that your Internet service is not the problem, then determine the IP address of the website that failed.

STEP 2 –

There are several websites on the Internet where you can use their DNS servers to resolve domain name addresses to IP addresses. For instance, try myDNStools.info at http://mydnstools.info . Select Resolve Address From the myDNStools.info home page, under “Host tools”, select “Resolve address” from the menu.

Note: For demonstration purposes, within this article, we’ll use “http://www.failed.com” as a reference to the website that resulted in an error message (you will use the actual web address of the page that failed), and “http://www.microsoft.com” as an example of a website to use for comparative testing.

STEP 3 –

Enter the Domain Name On the “Return an IP address for a given host” page, enter the web host address that failed, then click the “Resolve address” button to determine the IP address.

Record the IP address for later use.

STEP 4 –

Determine the IP address Now, enter the host address “microsoft.com” (or any other web address that you like), then click the “Resolve address” button to determine the IP address (e.g., microsoft.com resolves to IP address: 207.46.197.32).

Record the IP address for later use.

STEP 5 – Clear all caches.

To clear the DNS cache. From a command window, enter “ipconfig /flushdns”

Clear the cache in your browser (this varies depending on the browser used and its revision).

STEP 6 – From a command window, enter the following commands, noting for each if the commands succeed or fail. Record any error messages.

Ping http://www.microsoft.com
Ping http://207.46.197.32(microsoft.com resolves to: 207.46.197.32)

Ping http://www.failed.com (The address of the actual page that failed)
Ping http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (The IP address of the failed web address)

STEP 7 – From your Web browser, browse the following locations using the following addresses, noting for each if they succeed or fail. Record any error messages.

http://www.microsoft.com
http://207.46.197.32

http://www.failed.com (The address of the actual page that failed)
http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (The IP address of the failed web address)

STEP 8 – Evaluate the results of the tests:

If you see a difference between both IP address accesses, as compared to both named accesses, you very likely have a DNS problem.

If you can ping (with a successful return), but not browse, with identical results for IP address and name, you have an MTU setting problem.

If you see a combination of results, you may need to research BOTH a DNS and MTU problem.

If the tests aren’t conclusive, consider LSP / Winsock corruption problem.

Note: MTU problems and LSP / Winsock corruption problems are two complex to discuss within this article and might be the topic of other eHow articles.

STEP 9 – Maximize DNS performance with industry-leading Web content filtering, anti-phishing, DNS infrastructure and navigation services.

TIPS & WARNINGS

Browser problems of this nature could be caused by any of several scenarios.

  • www.domainname.com does not exist.
  • www.domainname.com is not operational.
  • Your DNS is not working.
  • You do not have Internet connectivity.

Note: For demonstration purposes, within this article, we’ll use “http://www.failed.com” as a reference to the website that resulted in an error message (you will use the actual web address of the page that failed), and “http://www.microsoft.com” as an example of a website to use for comparative testing.

DISCLAIMER: The writer makes no representations about the suitability, reliability, or accuracy of the information and related graphics contained herein.

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