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Did Your Internet Just Freak Out? Here’s the Reason, and a Solution

This is really exciting. I'm never the one who tells people how to fix things, but here's how to fix a thing.

matrix

Being a website company, we were all pretty upset at the office here when the Internet went down for twenty minutes or so. People suggested we start a zine, use a photocopier, or just leave the room, which also proved we may all be a little overdependent on connectivity. Turns out we weren’t alone: Google’s DNS servers were at fault.

Google’s DNS, or Domain Name System, is a server that translates the name of a site that you type in — like Geekosystem — into its IP address. So when that service is down, what we type in stays kind of meaningless. And that’s exactly what just happened. For a full twenty minutes.

While this was just a blip (panicked cries and swooning fits that filled many an office aside), knowing how to deal with DNS issues can help with other connectivity issues, too. You can swap your servers for alternatives. And if you forget how — well, you may have noticed that during the little blackout today, other kinds of services like Twitter, Gchat, or IRC kept working. That’s because they don’t need any of the data from the DNS servers. So if you’ve got a problem, you can always ask for advice on those channels.

Here are some instructions from Google on how to change a DNS server, which you should maybe save into a word document or something, because when the servers are down you won’t actually be able to access this.

(via Gizmodo, image via David Asch)

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