A question about DNS

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I have a question I couldn't find an anwser to on google:

when I dial up my ISP, i have a primary and secondary DNS.
(ISP-assigned in some setups, user-chosen in others)
I know that each one has the 4 numbers of IP... but

Are these DNS's a function of each ISP, or are they
being served from elsewhere?  And if the DNS numbers
I am using are sluggish or if they go out of service,
is there a list of numbers I can choose for myself,
without calling up my ISP and asking for new DNS#'s?
Or would I be stepping on someone else's toes if I did that?


Re: A question about DNS

Gazing into my crystal ball I observed Buzzard

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This is an interesting read, should answer all your questions, and you
will learn some new things, too:

Adrienne Boswell at Home
Arbpen Web Site Design Services
Please respond to the group so others can share

Re: A question about DNS

Buzzard wrote:
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There are other resolving servers open for use.  Here is one:


Re: A question about DNS

Etian wrote:
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Now *theres* something immediately useful to me,
because my ISP's secondary DNS hasn't worked for
quite some time.

So now I have my DNS set for primary = my ISP,
and secondary is set for that other one u mentioned.

Re: A question about DNS

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They are probably a function of your ISP. Each ISP will run its own DNS
servers and these will be what they encourage you to use. Typically you
can't connect to another ISP's DNS servers, so if you switch ISP then be
sure to pick up the DNS servers dynamically or you may find that DNS stops
working on you. There are exceptions here because there are a number of
public DNS servers (as Etian has pointed out) which anyone can use.
Typically public DNS servers are more hops away so should in theory be
slower, but since they might run on better hardware than your ISPs they can
still be faster.

If your secondary DNS hasn't worked for some time (reading your reply to
Etian) then its probably worth checking that you are picking it up
dynamically from your ISP. I had a similar problem once but it turned out
that at some point I had switched off picking the DNS server addresses up
automatically. If you are confident that you are picking them up
automatically then its worth dropping an email to your ISPs support

There are a number of alternative DNS providers. Etain has provided one (and
that one looks quite good because you can sign up to receive notifications
should they change the IP address), but there are others.

Brian Cryer

Re: A question about DNS

Brian Cryer wrote:
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I have tried both setups, the automatic ("server assigned")
DNS, and the manually-assigned.

As far as I can tell (http://www.who.is/dns/swva.net /),
my ISP has only the 2 DNS's.  And if I remember right, I
told them at least a year ago that their secondary was not

I'm thinking either they fixed it and it didn't stay fixed,
or perhaps they don't think they need a working secondary.

Either way, I'm surfing ok now with one ISP DNS and one
free public DNS, both assigned manually.

Is it possible that the automatic DNS would send me to
a secondary DNS not listed on the whois?
Or should I drop them another line saying
"Dude, your 2nd DNS is still kaput."?

Re: A question about DNS

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When you used the automatic/server-assigned DNS did you end up with the same
DNS servers as you are currently using (manually-assigned)?

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Unless I'm missing it, who.is/dns/swva.net only shows the nameservers for
swva.net. These are not necessarily the same as the DNS servers you should
be using.

Are you using ns1.swva.net and ns2.swva.net (not sure that you should, but
those are the only obvious name-servers on the who.is/dns/swva.net)? I found
when I queried both of these that they responded for some names, but not

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Once you've double checked that you are using the right IP for both of their
DNS server then yes, I'd drop them a note. I know you said you'd done so
before, but I'd continue to nag them - OR if they are unreliable then change
your ISP.
Brian Cryer

Re: A question about DNS

Brian Cryer wrote:
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actually, when I use auto, I get DNS's 243 and 244,
and neither of those will respond to the PING
command either.

It could be I'm using the wrong method to see which
DNS's I have.  I typed "ipconfig /All".

That shows 2
DNS's being used.  Funny thing is, when I have selected
2 DNS's manually, the ones ipconfig shows are not those.
ipconfig/all shows and,
or (if on automatic) 243 and 244,
*none* of which will respond to the "PING" command,
which tells me that either ipconfig is showing me the
wrong ones, or the PING command is not usable on
DNS servers, since I am obviously online and able to
pull up web pages (and to post my dumb questions)

Do you know of another way to tell which DNS's have
been automatically assigned to me, other than ipconfig?
Or perhaps windows 98 dialup has a bug that causes it to
to automatic server-assigned DNS even if you choose manual?
(or is "PING" the wrong way to see if a DNS is responding?)

(At this point, its really just curiosity.)

Re: A question about DNS

Buzzard wrote:
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It may very well be the DNS is configured not to respond to the PING
command.  I usually do that with my hosting servers, also.

Don't know about Win98.  Haven't used it since Win2K came out.

Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.

Re: A question about DNS

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See Jerry's answer.

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Sounds good to me.

To test whether a given dns server responds try (at the command line):

nslookup www.google.com

where is the IP address of the DNS server to test.

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Hope this helps.
Brian Cryer

Re: A question about DNS

Agh.  It WAS the ping command.

I had assumed that since only the primary DNS
responded to pings, that the secondaries were kaput.
But I found a whole group of DNSs that'll respond
to nslookup but not to ping.

(including 2 that I am sometimes automatically
assigned, which aren't listed on the whois page)

So I've just put it back on auto.
As far as speed goes, it seems to make no
difference whatsoever whether I am on auto,
or manually select any 2 of my own ISP's DNS,
or 2 free public DNS's.

I think my biggest problem with regard to the
internet is the fact that the phone lines suck,
and the phone company doesn't care.

Buzzard, out here in the boondocks

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