Deprivation does terrible things.
December 5, 2010 7:49 PM   Subscribe

Suffering through the great midwest Comcast outage of late 2010. What ill may come of this?

Hokay so, I've gotten back online through the work of a few texts and the magic google DNS Having recommended this to my otherwise funny cat videos and recipe looking-up deprived friends I must wonder, why, when Comcast comes back online, do I need to remind them to switch back to the comcast 10.0.2 whatever? What exactly are they sacrificing, in terms of privacy and security, by using the google DNS?
posted by thusspakeparanoia to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
is Comcast internet down in Chicagoland? is that why I'm typing this on my phone instead of laptop? how do I get it back!
posted by katypickle at 8:00 PM on December 5, 2010

Probably nothing. Google claims to run a more secure service than many ISPs, and doesn't log any more information than anyone else is likely to. They explain it all in their FAQ, if you're curious, here.

Otherwise, it should perform pretty much the same as Comcast's. It's conceivable that Comcast's might be a bit faster because it's probably closer to you or something, though that hasn't been my experience. You'll also lose out on the "feature" that Comcast has of redirecting you to crappy search pages if you type in a domain that doesn't exist (this thing), but that's not much of a loss in my book.
posted by andrewpendleton at 8:01 PM on December 5, 2010

Google doesn't collect anything further than debugging information from their DNS service.
posted by wayland at 8:02 PM on December 5, 2010


katypickle, switch the DNS server on your computer to point to the address to get service back.

OP, I meant to add: just FYI, the 10.x.x.x IP isn't actually Comcast's DNS; that's probably the address of your router, which in turn redirects to the actual Comcast server.
posted by andrewpendleton at 8:03 PM on December 5, 2010

Response by poster: Set your DNS (easily done on a mac via advanced network preferences, subheading DNS, slightly more complicated on a windows machine: set IPv4 ( or 6 perhaps) to and bob's your uncle.
And then the both of us can be concerned with the longer term implications of using the google DNS server.
posted by thusspakeparanoia at 8:06 PM on December 5, 2010

If you want to find the fastest DNS Server for your area, I recommend Google's free Namebench project.
posted by sharkfu at 8:10 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

A million thanks! Now I can pretend I fixed the internet when my hubby comes home from work.
posted by katypickle at 8:11 PM on December 5, 2010

fwiw, boredinsomniac and I have avoided comcast's janky dns for years now. they seem to go down for the slightest amount of time, almost always on Sunday night. you can also try opendns, which we have with success. not as scary as google. has never gone out on us in logan square.
posted by patricking at 8:25 PM on December 5, 2010

I work for an ISP and I don't even use our DNS servers. I switched to as primary and as secondary.

If both google and level 3's DNS servers ever go down, the internet is in for a world of hurt.
posted by empath at 8:26 PM on December 5, 2010

If you're really that worried about using a Google product, use OpenDNS.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:30 PM on December 5, 2010

There's no reason that you need to rely on a third party to provide DNS resolution. You can run your own recursive resolver. There are BIND binaries for Win32, and it installs as a service so you never have to think about it, and you don't have to care about any company's data logging/retention policies.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:40 PM on December 5, 2010

Best answer: If you, like most rational people, dislike the "helpful" service, you can use comcast's "opt-out/dnssec" servers as posted here.

For the record, they're and
posted by madajb at 9:57 PM on December 5, 2010

Second using Comcast's opt-out servers. I've sued both the Google and OpenDNS options as well. I found no real difference. All three are subject to the vagaries of the intartubes.

FWIW, Comcast was pretty squirrely last night (central Indiana) starting around 8:00pm or so. On, off, on, sort of off, slow, back on. Seemed to clear-up by 10:00. My guess is they were doing some upgrading.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:56 AM on December 6, 2010

Same thing happened in SE Michigan. I went to bed early with a book.
posted by shiny blue object at 6:10 AM on December 6, 2010

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