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My ISP's DNS servers are timing out frequently, what can I do?

My ISP’s DNS servers are timing out frequently, what can I do?

DNS, or Domain
Name System, is what turns an internet name like
into an internet address, such as In essence
it’s an enormous distributed database. If you’re interested in more
gory details, HowStuffWorks has a good overview

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Your ISP provides servers that perform the DNS lookup function each time you
access a name on the internet. Sometimes those servers can have problems which
range from not knowing the names they should, to taking a long time to perform
the lookup.

So I’ll be clear: once you’ve determined that you have a DNS problem, your
first step should be to complain to your ISP. You and all their other customers
will benefit if they address their problem.

Unfortunately, some ISPs don’t seem to care much about the little guy. They
make it difficult to report problems and seem to do everything possible to
avoid taking responsibility. I’ve been there, and I switched ISPs as a result.
If you’re not getting satisfaction from your ISP I strongly suggest you vote
with your feet.

However I realize that switching ISPs can be painful, and it’s not always a
practical option. So I do have a couple of alternatives.

AnalogX FastCache is a caching DNS server for
Windows that runs on your local machine and handles the DNS requests that your
computer makes. The first time you ask for a name, it goes to your ISP’s DNS
Servers to get the address. After that every time you ask for the same names
again it gives it to you instantly. A friend in the
industry recommends it highly. Even with a good ISP things seem to run a little
snappier with FastCache installed.

Another alternative is to simply use a DNS provided by someone other than
your ISP. This can get a little risky as unlike your ISP, whomever you choose
will have no responsibility for keeping you working. Some
possibilities include:

  • Simply use the DNS servers of a different ISP. Rather than publish IP
    addresses here, just ask someone you know for the DNS they’re running with and
    see if they work for you.

  • Use the DNS Servers provided by OpenDNS. (This is
    what I’ve been using lately.)

  • Another approach may be to use the Internet’s root DNS
    directly. These are a set of 13 DNS Servers that are by definition
    the master copies of the DNS database. Remember though, that you’ll be
    competing with thousands of other DNS Servers who also use the root servers as
    their reference point.

  • Many people report good results using the “unofficial” Open Root Confederation DNS Servers.

Do this

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18 comments on “My ISP's DNS servers are timing out frequently, what can I do?”

  1. our remote gateway is using winnt\system32.but what i notice is that it used to time out frequently.Tell me what to do each time i see time out on the screen.

  2. thanks for your article.l work in an isp and am having a problem with my dns,my dns is timing out and the browsing is slow .what can l do to solve the problem.l would be grateful,lf my rwequest is granted in due time.

  3. Hi,We wish to report a brief notice on our site. We found out that on the reply rate of site that it does not exceed a time to life (TTL) of 63during ping reply from the ISP’s Gateway ( We obtain a reply of 32bytes, times=540ms and a TTL of 63 ~ 64 instead of TTL of 120 ~ 128 and bytes of 60 or higher. We would want a brief information regarding the situation, is it that we are not using up to our complete Bandwidth rate of 128/128kbps, or that our Time to Live is normal (TTL).

    How do get a notice from our ISP, when a maintenance or a Shutdown is going to take place. This is to enable us know when the site is going to be down

  4. How do i configure my TTL to match that of my ISP.
    My windows default is 128 but my ISP’s is 60. i believe this is causing me some transfer loses. Please tell me how to harmonize this values with that of my ISP.


  5. There is no value in “harmonizing” your TTL with an ISP’s TTL value. It won’t help you in any way. Each time a packet of data goes through a network device, the TTL value is decremented by one by that device. When the value reaches zero the packet is dropped. Making your value 60 would simply mean your packets couldn’t go through as many devices before being dropped, though if you are passing through 60 or more network hops, you should expect a fair amount of delay in responses.

  6. I’m trying to play online for my ps2, and after a week of messing with it i finaly got it to a screen that says “authenticating DNAS”. Then it says it timed error (603). The only thing i can think to do is go back to the configuration and fill in the secondary DNS server (the only thing i have blank) but i don’t know where or how to find it. Can you help me?

  7. I have my modem hooked up to my router and ive been on the internet several times. Of course my internet is “supposed” to be on all the time but for some unknown reason my internet disconnects and connects all the time, maybe about 20 to 30 min constantly over and over again, and this gets really annyoying. Could it be the way i set up my router? Do i need a new ip adress? I wasnt given a static ip since i have cable internet. Can you help please?

  8. I have my modem hooked up to my router and ive been on the internet several times. Of course my internet is “supposed” to be on all the time but for some unknown reason my internet disconnects and connects all the time, maybe about 20 to 30 min constantly over and over again, and this gets really annyoying.

    I have almost the same problem, i am sharing a wirless connection with my roommate. He has the modem in hes room, and i am using my laptop to play ps2 online through. But for some reason, i get disconnected every 2 minut. And than it is working 100% again… Any ideas what i can do?

  9. ok so im not really that great with all this computer mumbojumbo so like what is the DNS because ill be connected but when i want to try and play it says network error-612 and says it couldnt find the dns server can u help me ?

  10. i have this problem that has been bordering me in my office actually its this issue of the clients network timing out from time to time untill i have to restat the router before they would be able to browse againg and after a while againg the browser will display the messate cannot find server untill i have to restate the router supplying connection the the clients, i thought may be its the cards fluctuating so i decided to setup another card on the machine and then install windows 2003 so that it can run seperately from the mikrotik router but i still have thesame problem. But while the clients are timing out the server to which the moderm is connected is browsing steady without any fluctuation.

    Please kindly assist in any way u can. Hoping to hear from u soon.


  11. i have a question i have a game called monster hunter for slim ps2 and i got my ip address to work but the dns comes up with an error i have my dns numbers but they must be faulty, see im connected to charter and they are of no help neither is dell lol if anyone can assist me in any way please e-mail me im on 24-7 thank you.

  12. If your ISP DNS server are timing out, what you can do is to use a public DNS server which could be better than your ISP DNS. you can use these alternative dns server

    Open DNS. ( and

    here is another server you can use which is easy to remember if you are on the go. stick it to your mind up to

    If you want to know which dns is faster, you can use this tool. (dnstester)

  13. hey bro
    thank you for your compasion and all

    i did the DNS thing and am yet to see if it will resovel my issue. you are right about ISP they wont take responsbilty

    p.s. i dont know why buy you remind me of a IBM 8086????

    it’s the whole look


  14. I’m facing the same prob with our ISP
    And they do not care
    I’m a webmaster and we can not ask all the visitor to change their DSN
    is their an solution to push or force the ISP DNS to lookup a domain name
    Thank you


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