My boring ass internet connectivity problem
December 17, 2012 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Seeking a more fulfilling relationship with my little box of internet. I have DNS troubles. Can you help diagnose them?

I have: an old Lenovo netbook, XP, and a T-Mobile hotspot. I'm using Google's public DNS. On the regular, like every day or two, my browser throws the error that tells me DNS lookup has failed. Sometimes this is at the beginning of a browser session or when the laptop's been asleep, and sometimes it's right in the middle when I've been working away with no problems. Most times I can fix this by power-cycling the hotspot. Sometimes nothing works except stepping away from the laptop for a while.

This is super annoying. What gives? Can I do better? What needs upgrading?
posted by clavicle to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I'd like you to test if this is really a DNS problem. Access a well-known site that supports it (like Google) using the IP. See if it works.
posted by devnull at 7:25 AM on December 17, 2012

I have exactly this problem and I'd love to know the answer. In my case I can ping without any issue but I can't nslookup Also my iPad and iPhone never have this problem.
posted by pravit at 8:45 AM on December 17, 2012

I think Google's DNS gets overloaded, but I can't prove it.

Does not the T-Mob hotspot provide DNS?
posted by Sunburnt at 9:32 AM on December 17, 2012

Looks like you're right that the DNS is a red herring, devnull. I just tried what you suggested following the usual DNS error and it didn't work. So...what's that mean?
posted by clavicle at 3:29 PM on December 17, 2012

It likely means your net connection is down for some reason. Your hotspot probably has a DHCP server that gives out IP addresses, perhaps that is being slow or not working. What I would do is to renew the IP address on your laptop next time the problem occurs, and see if that fixes anything.

1. Go to Start> Run. Type "cmd" without the quotes, push enter.
2. In the box, type "ipconfig /release" without the quotes, then push enter.
3. In the same box, type "ipconfig /renew" without the quotes, then push enter.

Now see what happens when you try to access the net. And report back here.

Also check for firmware updates for your hotspot
posted by devnull at 4:57 AM on December 18, 2012

OK, took me a couple days to reproduce the problem, but renewing the IP seems to have worked. Yay! Thanks, devnull.
posted by clavicle at 3:28 PM on December 23, 2012

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