DNS, how does it work?
To begin with, you should know that each website has a so-called “IP” address, for example, 192.168.0.1. It is in fact the real address of the site, that of its server.
The DNS is “System of server names” or “Name server System” in the language of molière, that is to say, they will allow translating the web address of a site that you will type in the search bar (or “URL”), an IP address. To do this, they will use an index (or database) linking each IP with the right site.
For example, its IP address 100.101.102.103. Instead of typing this series of numbers, we type the name of the site in the search bar, thanks to the DNS.
Basically, this is what happens when you type in a URL or click on a link to a URL:
- The browser contacts the DNS server with the address in alphanumeric writing.
- The DNS server searches its index for which IP address corresponds to this alphanumeric URL.
- It then shares the IP address with the browser. The browser directs you to the corresponding site.
If this server is no longer functioning, then you will no longer be able to use Google search, which works with URLs and not IP addresses, nor to join your favorite sites with their public names.
Suddenly, some software may work on the internet despite your inability to do any research.
A cause for every DNS error
SFR, Free, Bouygues, and Orange: all in the same boat. By default, your computer will use the DNS IP addresses of your operator. It often happens, especially at SFR, that this DNS is temporarily defective. As a result, viewing a website is not possible, although your telephony and TV services are working.
Contacting your internet operator will not change anything, you will already be in luck if customer service can figure out the internet connection problem you are having.
The DNS server is not responding.
The most common error, the server is inactive, for example, SFR has a problem with its network, and your computer tries in vain to reach their infrastructure. Change the DNS servers as described below and, if you were unable to access the internet, your connection will be reestablished.
DNS Request Timed out
There, you have a problem of slowness, the browser waits eternally for a response, as described at the beginning of the article, after a certain delay it throws in the towel. Perhaps also because the answer does not exist or no longer exists, an error or an outdated version of the DNS server database can be the cause.
A cleanup of the Windows Hosts file or a change of DNS can resolve this error.
This error means that your internet connection is not working at all. We must admit that the solution will not be found in this tutorial, check your WiFi, your connections, your Ethernet cable.
Go for a walk on the screen of your box to see if your internet services are still active.
This error appears when your DNS server configuration is faulty, it is the easiest problem to solve. The connection is no longer made because you are trying to connect to a DNS server whose IP address is no longer valid or not accessible.
We will see how to reinstall the default DNS server configuration of your internet service provider, see better: use specific, more reliable, and powerful IP addresses!
This error appears when your operator has blocked a site by court order, or if your DNS server is temporarily unable to link the right IP address to the right domain name. No worries, our tutorial will help you get around this problem.
Toolkit against an unresponsive DNS server problem
Here is a list of solutions that can restore the internet connection, you do not have to apply them all, start by reading them before acting, to finally choose the least restrictive and the most suitable. For those in a hurry, the essential is in parts 1, 2, and 4.
1: Check your hardware & software
Reset your browser
Start with the simplest, change your web browser, for example, go from Google Chrome to Internet Explorer, it is present in every Windows computer.
On Mac, test with Safari.
Try resetting your browser or failing to uninstall it to reinstall it.
Restart your internet box, router, and switch
Unplug your box, wait 5 min and plug it back in.
If you use a router or a server, for example in a company, start by changing the DNS servers to those of Cloud-flare or Google, at least while you find the source of the problem. Restart your equipment: switches, switches, repeaters. If the problem persists, reset the DNS settings to default.
Remember to restart your switches, WiFi equipment, and other intermediaries. See if only some of the computer stations are affected or if the entire fleet can no longer go on the Internet.
Disable your antivirus and firewall
If you are not using specific software, follow the “For Windows Defender” section.
Your antivirus can block access to DNS servers through a firewall rule. So remember to deactivate it even temporarily, make sure that the firewall module is off.
If the problem is with the antivirus, reset its options to default, as a last resort, switch to Windows defender by disabling your antivirus and activating the protection built into Windows, start by disabling your antivirus. Then go to settings> System and security> Windows security> Home, enable everything that is not enabled.
For more complete protection on the virus side but with the Windows 10 firewall, use Malawarebytes.
For windows defender on Windows 10
You shouldn’t experience this problem with Windows Defender, but here is the procedure to turn off Windows Firewall just in case:
Go to: settings> System and security> Windows security> Windows firewall and protection> Network with domain and click on the button to switch from “On” to “off”. Go back and do the same with “Private Network” and “Public Network”.
If your internet connection works, the problem comes from there, then do “Restore the default settings of the firewalls”, make an internet connection test then reactivate the firewalls.
Disable Windows 10 SmartScreen
If the blockage is intact, consider disabling “Reputation-based protection”.
Go to: settings> System and security> Windows security> Application and browser control> Reputation-based protection.
Disable everything and see if the DNS server issue is resolved. In this case, reset the parameters with NetAdapter Repair All In One as described below in this tutorial.
Pair your powerline and repeaters sockets again
If you use repeaters, powerline sockets, and other WiFi Mesh type extenders, remember to disconnect, reconnect and re-pair the various endings of your local network.
Some manufacturers have an application allowing you to reset the parameters, we think of TP-Link or Netgear, on high-end devices. Take advantage and see if you can do a general reset of the DNS server settings and IPs configurations.
Otherwise, there is always a button on these devices allowing a total reset. Warning: you will probably have to reset your wifi passwords.
2: Change your DNS to those of Cloudflare
Your ISP’s DNS servers are objectively poor, but luckily you can fix it easily.
To replace your ISP’s DNS servers, your best bet is to use 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11, which are actually the addresses of the Cloudflare domain name server provider, they both give you much better performance than the DNS of your ISP, but also a higher uptime (ratio of uptime vs pane time).
This translates to faster queries by tens of milliseconds, Cloudflare currently provides the fastest DNS servers.
However, to find the best reliability (by little), it is necessary to turn to Google’s DNS: 18.104.22.168 preferred DNS server and Auxiliary DNS server 22.214.171.124.
Easily replace your DNS servers
- To start solving your internet connection problem by changing the DNS of your ISP, go to settings (green circle then yellow circle).
- Click on “Network and Internet”.
- Then click on “Network and Sharing Center”.
- Once here, locate your internet network, you may encounter two or three types of access:
- Local network.
- Ethernet network.
- Wifi network.
Do not touch the local network, click on “Ethernet” as in the orange square or on “WIFI” if you are in wifi.
Go to the next step and start again at this step when done if you have an ethernet network and wifi network.
- click on ” Properties “.
Locate “Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP / iPv4)”.
Click it once left click, so that it is displayed in blue.
Then do the “Properties”, box at the bottom right.
- Once there, activate “Use the following DNS server address: ” by clicking on the small empty circle to the left of the sentence.
You can also select “Obtain DNS server addresses automatically” to use the DNS of your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
Replace ” Preferred DNS Server” with ” 126.96.36.199 “.
Replace “Auxiliary DNS Server” with ” 188.8.131.52 “.
Check the “Validate settings on quitting” box.
Click “OK” and close the other windows.
Badaboom network found!
If despite everything, you cannot resolve a DNS error, you can have an IT specialist help you.
3: Restore DNS server and network settings via CMD
Type CMD in the search, run as administrator. A black window opens.
Release the IP address
Releasing the IP address amounts to notifying the computer and the router (or box) that the current IP address is now free because you are going to change it. To proceed, type:
ipconfig / release
Renew the IP address
You can now renew your IP address from Windows, if ever the problem came from the routing of your box or network equipment, you have chances to solve it as well. It simply consists of requesting a new IP from your box/router. To proceed, following the rows of results generated by the previous command, type then press Enter :
ipconfig / renew
Clear DNS cache
You can now try to restore the DNS server by emptying the cache, this allows you to update the local database, stored on your computer, and which can sometimes be obsolete. For this, do:
ipconfig / flushdns
The result “successfully flushed the DNS resolver Cache” should be displayed, otherwise check the command and restart the CMD in administrator mode.
4: Repair everything with NetAdapter Repair All In One software
For the more novice, the use of NetAdapter Repair All In One software is recommended to correct any DNS problem. In fact, it is so comprehensive that it is suitable for all user profiles.
- Download the software from another computer and install it via a USB stick on the one having internet connection problems (by clicking on the link above).
- Select your connection type from the drop-down box framed in pink: Ethernet if you are connected to the internet by cable, wifi otherwise. Feel free to test each connection setting if one doesn’t work.
- Check all the boxes as in the green rectangle then click on “Run All Selected” taking care to check the box as well.
- You can also ping Google via “IP Ping” or Ping to Cloudflare DNS via “Ping DNS”.
- If the software does not solve your connection problem, turn to the detailed solutions in this tutorial. Do not hesitate to ask a question in the comments!
Details of the options offered by the tool
- Release and Nrenow DHCP Address: This allows you to perform the operations described above without the command prompt.
- Clear Hosts file: This allows you to clean the addresses registered in the host file. Clear Static IP Settings: Resets your static IP address settings to re-establish a connection with the router. Change to Google DNS: Installs Google’s DNS servers, which have an availability rate of 99.9%.
- Clear ARP / Route table: Cleans any local routing rule created by you or software.
- NetBios Reload and Release: relaunches the local network management program.
- Internet Options – Clear SSL State: Cleans the SSL certificate cache in memory.
- Enable LAN Adapters: Reactivates any Ethernet outputs that may be off in the network card manager.
- Enable Wireless Adapters: same operation, but with WiFi network cards.
- Reset Internet Options Security / Privacy: Resets Internet Explorer’s security and privacy options to zero.
- Set Network Windows Services Default: resets Windows network services.
5: Delete the parameters of your Box.
Restart your internet box, if the problem persists, check that no DNS server setting was applied by someone else or by mistake by going to the management interface of your operator box.
For the more seasoned, you can access it by typing the IP address of your default gateway in your address bar.
Access your management interface
If you cannot access your management interface to restore your DNS and default settings:
- Search for “CMD” in Windows, click “Run as administrator”.
- Type ipconfig and hit Enter.
- Note the “Default gateway” value in the “Ethernet card” section if you are using cable or “WiFi card” if you are using wifi.
- If one doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to try another.
- Enter the IP address (here 192.168.0.1) in the search bar of a browser.
- You are on your internet box management interface.