DNS glitches can cause headaches for everyone they affect. Problem sites can degrade user experience and result in loss of money for the business.
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is an internet directory that maps IP addresses to domain names. Each website has its own IP address. Users can enter the IP address of a website to visit it. However, they are difficult to remember. Therefore, most people use the domain name instead.
DNS servers direct users to the right place so that websites load correctly. DNS errors occur when you are unable to connect to an IP address. This type of disconnection usually occurs due to a loss of Internet or network connectivity.
Random DNS glitches are inevitable. However, not all of them are serious attacks and can be resolved relatively easily.
Check the basics first
Not all connection problems are related to DNS. For example, if a router is not connected, you will not be able to connect to the Internet. But this is not a DNS problem.
Some DNS glitches can be easily fixed by checking the following:
- Check your domain name servers. If you’ve changed your hosting company or domain registrar, they may be incorrect and easy to fix.
- If you have recently made any changes to your nameservers, it will take time for them to spread over the network. This can take 24 to 48 hours.
- Restart the router by turning it off, wait a minute, and then turning it back on.
- Make sure all your connections and cables are connected correctly.
- Run a malware scan to see if a virus is blocking your Internet access.
- If you are having trouble connecting to a specific site, it might be a problem with the website, not your connection. One way to check this is to go to Down for All or Just Me.
Is it your router?
Routers have their own processor, memory, motherboard, and even an operating system. All of these components handle data traffic. These router components can be overloaded. This is the same as having too many browsers open on your laptop at the same time, causing it to freeze.
When you send a lot of data through your router to many devices, it may slow down or stop working altogether. In addition, most Internet connections on home computers use dynamic IP addresses. ISPs assign each modem an IP address for a specific period of time.
After this time, your ISP will send your modem a new IP address. However, if your router is very busy, it may not receive the message with the new IP address and keep trying to use the old expired one.
If the ventilation slots of the router are blocked by dust or cables, it may overheat. So, make sure they are not blocked.
To restart the router, do the following:
- Turn off the router and disconnect it.
- Disable all other access points, such as a modem, that make up your network.
- Wait 20 to 30 seconds.
- Connect everything again.
- Power on the router again.
- Wait for 30 to 60 seconds.
Waiting gives the router the time it takes to establish a stable connection. Try restarting your router if you have no connection, cannot connect to the Internet, or your device does not show your network as available.
More in-depth troubleshooting
If the steps above didn’t solve your problem, it could be one of the following common DNS issues.
Computers store network information about attempts and recent visits to websites.
Sometimes this cache can get corrupted. To clear the cache, enter the following at the command line:
ipconfig / flushdns
This will clear the cache so that the next time you visit the same website, the DNS information will be updated.
Your domain name
If your website address works but doesn’t link to your site, you may have forgotten to renew your domain name. Quickly contact your domain registrar and see if you can get it back.
TCP / IP Settings
Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP / IP) are parameters that determine how computers communicate with other devices
For the IPv6 and IPv4 properties, you must set the Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server addresses automatically.
To learn how to check these settings, read:
- Change TCP / IP Settings for Windows
- Enter Advanced TCP / IP Settings on Mac.
- Works with Linux TCP / IP network configuration files
Not resolved yet?
If none of the above solutions fix the DNS failure, the problem might be a misconfiguration or an error.
Windows has a built-in tool called nslookup It can be used to troubleshoot DNS commands to identify specific internal or external issues.
The most common DNS records that can cause problems are:
- CNAME (Canonical Name) refers to one domain name to another.
- A records are basic DNS data that map domains to IP addresses.
- MX (Mail Exchange) records route emails from your domain to the host server.
For a complete guide, see Troubleshooting DNS with Nslookup.
Try the Tools
If DNS issues still occur, try one of the following tools to help diagnose and fix the problem. IntoDNS is a free tool that checks the configuration and status of DNS records.
It provides a report with suggestions on how to fix problems with links to the official protocol documentation.
OpenDNS Cache Checker is a tool that gives a unique insight into how OpenDNS resolves your domain. It queries your domain directly using all OpenDNS servers and reports the results.
Network Tools provides free network tools including NS Lookup, DNS Lookup, and domain and host information.
Take precautions and be prepared
At some point, all websites will stop working. No service can guarantee 100% uptime.
We’ve all seen headlines when loud cloud outages occur. However, you can take some precautions to protect your business from DNS failures.
- Use more than one DNS provider in different locations and on different servers.
- Separate external DNS servers from internal ones.
- Use different domains for general and internal use.
- The DNS service provider must be separate from the domain name registrar.
- Avoid vendors that require web-based control panels to update configurations. Instead, set up a DNS server that will update your information as a result of a non-public DNS zone transfer.
- Use two-factor authentication with your registrar account.
Monitor Your DNS Server
Cybercriminals are finding new ways to spread malware and infect computer systems.
Tracking your DNS server activity can alert you to signs of poor performance or outages. Be proactive and track your DNS uptime and performance. Identify issues as they arise to keep your website visitors happy.
DNS Tools offers a suite of monitoring tools to get real-time insight into how your DNS configurations are performing online.
If you run into a problem, try the suggestions above for fixing a DNS failure.