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Old 22. Mar 2009, 11:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Surrey, UK
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I think you need to do a traceroute on your connection, to see what's happening. This will give you a better idea of the problem. You can use a desktop app for this, like Webhopper from proletary. com, or an online service like the visual traceroute from yougetsignal. com/ tools/visual-tracert/
[remove gaps]

After that, use a service that shows packet loss on each hop. Getting a bit techie eh. But that will show why it's slow. Like you say a 7MB hookup is quick, and should give really good results - so the answer is somewhere else. This is an ISP routing and backbone issue, not DNS.

The DNS service works like this: you want to go to a website, and you know its friendly name, like or something. So you enter that in the browser address bar. But there are no websites called that, it would be impossible to run a network this way - all addresses on the Net must be numerical. So somewhere there has to be a list of what names tie up to what numbers - this is the DNS service.

You type the name in the address bar - the browser scratches its head and thinks, where the ****'s that? - it goes to a DNS server that it knows the address of, and asks them - they give it the real, numeric address - the browser goes to that and, bosh, you're at TSA or wherever.

Takes a long time to describe but it happens in 0.25 of a second. It's so fast you don't even know it's happening, which is why it's described as transparent.
...except that sometimes it's slow - which is why the OpenDNS service is better because it will be faster and up to date as well, unlike ISPs' DNS servers.

The DNS servers are obviously critical to this. Every ISP has its own set. But they are often out of date, and also vulnerable to manipulation. So an open-source solution is better in every way. But you are always within your own ISP's network until you reach their partners' networks, to get to the required site. The DNS tells you the address to head for. It's possible of course that the route might be modified in some way, depending on the info you get from the OpenDNS servers, and even because you have gone to them in the first place.

But this is a network administration matter and certainly not my game...

ps I don't bother using the traceroute stuff on the desktop (within the OS, Windows or Linux command prompt I mean) because it gives the info but not the analysis - and the analysis (eg what country etc) is what you need.
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Last edited by chris.p; 22. Mar 2009 at 11:50 PM.
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