What does it mean when your ISP changes DNS servers?

I received a phone call from Charter Business earlier today reminding me that they have deployed new DNS servers and that I should adjust my equipment to use them.

Fortunately, none of our equipment even looks at name servers other than our own in-house server.  But does yours?

First, let’s look at what DNS is….

The simple explanation is: DNS stands for “Domain Name System”, and its function translates common names you enter into your web browser, like “www.google.com, or www.HomelandSecureIT.com” into their IP addresses, kind of like calling 411 and asking for a phone number from a name.

It also functions in the other direction, performing reverse DNS lookups, from an IP address to a hostname.

If you are using a home router or an inexpensive business router which handles DHCP (oh that’s another acronym we will talk about at a later date), giving out IP addresses dynamically to computers and devices that connect, then that device will also give out the DNS server/s these devices should use to do name resolution.

Some servers are handling DHCP and they too may give out DNS servers other than themselves, and even if they ARE a DNS server, they may simply be forwarding lookups to your ISP.

And some devices may be set static, with DNS servers entered manually.

In most of these cases, you may have been given a set of DNS servers to enter when you initially configured your router/server/device.  If your ISP updates the servers and gives you new IPs, you need to reprogram these devices.

The consequences if you do not update these settings? SLOW resolution of names to IPs… Where you enter www.somesitehere.com and hit return and your browser just hangs there doing nothing for a loooooong time, or you get warnings that the site was not found.

When your ISP gives you new servers, it is best to go ahead and update your devices at that moment in time, or else you will forget about it and one day not be able to get to your favorite website causing a “face-palm” and a wasted 15 minutes on the phone because you forgot to write down those IP addresses, or can’t get to your cloud based email.

If you need help in Greenville or Upstate SC let us know….  Call 864.990.4748 or email info@homelandsecureit.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *