While the internet evolved very much from its initial implementation, there are still some errors and downsides to it. I’m not saying that these happen often, and if they do, they are easily fixed, as the internet is one of the most important factors when it comes to computing and communication. But wait, what does DNS have to do with the internet? Oh, a lot of things are in common here. First, DNS stands for Domain Name Server, and it’s something that is commonly used by a browser to connect to websites, as it translates the website’s address for that browser. However, some DNS errors can be experienced, and it’s usually then the DNS server isn’t responding, so what to do then? Keep reading to find out!
Most Common DNS Errors
Here we listed some of the most common DNS errors that several people encounter.
- DNS Server is not Responding: The most common type of DNS errors which happens due to unresponsive websites servers or internet connection issues.
- dns_probe_finished_nxdomain: Happens mostly when the problem is on the domain side. Shows up when you type a URL which was recently active but no more. Also displays if your firewall is blocking the connection to the website.
- dns_probe_finished_no_internet: Nothing special. You simply do not have an internet connection or the website is down.
- DNS error nw-31253-4 with PS4: Reported by PS4 users. Can be simply fixed by a DNS change or system restart. Also has some variations like nw-31250-1, nw-31254-5, etc.
Possible solutions to DNS problems
In this chapter, we’ll cover some of the basic and advanced solutions for the problem concerning DNS. Of course, some of them may not work for you, and some may work, depending on the cause of the problem. With that in our minds, let’s get to the core of this article and that’s problem-solving.
1. Check your HOSTS file
Did you ever hear about hosts file? Well, if you didn’t I don’t blame you, as it’s hidden in main Windows folder, and it contains DNS listings, important for your browser to connect to various websites without a problem. You can check the host’s file and see if there is an outdated or incorrect DNS listing, preventing you to connect to a website. Be careful, as there are internet accelerators that will edit those files without your permission, so even if you don’t recall changing the host file, it may be edited. Think about it, did you use the internet accelerator? If not, then great. But still be sure to check the HOSTS file, and delete the entry that you can’t connect to. You can find the HOSTS file in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts.
2. Try a different browser
DNS connection can be checked very quickly by trying a different browser. This is why it’s better to have several versions of web browsers on your PC. First, they don’t take much space, and secondly, for the troubleshooting like this one. Download the newest versions of Chrome, Mozilla and even Opera and try to connect to the website you want. If this isn’t a solution, move to the next method below, and if you can connect with some of the browsers, uninstall and then install again your preferred browser. This may fix the problem.
3. Flush the DNS cache
DNS data is usually stored in the cache, and this cache also stores data of the websites that you’ve previously visited. So, how do you fix that? Follow the steps below to flush the DNS cache:
- Open Start, in the lower-left portion of the screen, by clicking the Start button, in shape of Windows logo.
- To be able to search for command prompt, don’t touch anything, but immediately type ‘command prompt‘ for searching.
- At the top of the start window, you’ll see the black, rectangle icon of the command prompt and you shall click on it.
- In the command prompt, type ‘ipconfig/flushdns‘ and then press Enter.
- By doing so, you’ll delete any saved DNS addresses, and the next time you want to go online, a new DNS will be created.
- Restart your web browser, and you can even restart the computer for full effect.
- If this method doesn’t solve any problems, proceed to some of the other methods on the list.
4. Change the DNS Server Addresses
As we said, upon connecting to the internet, DNS address is usually automatically fetched, but this can be both good and bad. In case your DNS address isn’t reliable and cause you problems, you can change it to some of the most reliable DNS servers out there. The pure examples of these DNS servers are OpenDNS and GoogleDNS, and the best thing here is that they are free. As Google is more popular, we’ll show you how to change your DNS server address to GoogleDNS.
- Right Click on the network icon in the lower right part of the screen; the same applies to Windows 7, 8 and 10.
- Then click on ‘Network and Sharing Center.’ If you don’t like it this way, type that into the search bar in your Start menu and find it.
- There, you’ll see your Local Area Connection. Click on the ‘Ethernet‘ option.
- From the new window which opened up, you’ll need to check some of the properties of Local Area Connection, by clicking ‘Properties‘ button in the lower left side of the window.
- Now it’s tricky. Read this carefully. You need to choose ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)‘ option by scrolling down.
- After selecting the option, click on ‘Properties‘ button again.
- To be able to use that DNS server address, choose the ‘Use the following DNS Server address‘ radio button.
- In the Preferred DNS Server field, type 188.8.131.52 and in the Alternate DNS Server field type 184.108.40.206.
- Check the checkbox ‘Validate Settings Upon exit‘ and restart your PC.
Now, your DNS Server Address should be completely changed, and you should be able to connect to the website properly
5. Disable unused networks
Although you may be using a single connection, it happens a lot of time that Windows installs some of the new connections, without you even noticing it. This may cause interference with the network you are using, so it’s better to be shut off. If you are using more than one connections, then don’t delete it.
- Click on Start and open Control Panel.
- Click on ‘Network and Internet‘ to open it.
- ‘Network and Sharing Center‘ is your next choice.
- And then ‘Change Adapter Settings‘ on the left sidebar.
- When you open Adapter Settings, you should see various Network Connections active on your device. And if there’s only one active connection, you can restart it by right-clicking on it and choose Disable.
- Wait for few minutes and then Enable it again. However, if there is more than one connection, right-click on those connections and choose to Disable them if you are not using them. Now refresh your browser and see if it works.
6. Change physical address
This method is most familiar with those who are experienced in this kind of stuff, so I don’t recommend it to beginners unless they have someone to do it for them. Nevertheless, we’ll go step by step to explain this method to every single reader of this article.
- First, we’ll begin by opening Windows Start menu and type ‘cmd‘ (command prompt) there.
- Now you need to type ‘ipconfig/all‘ and press Enter.
- Amongst some of the other data, you’ll find your ‘Physical address.’ Write it down somewhere.
- Open your Start Menu again, and navigate to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings, using the steps from the previous solution.
- Again, you’ll see your connection(s) that you need to fix.
- Right click on the connection, then choose ‘Properties‘ from the context menu and then click on ‘Configure‘ button in the opened window.
- In the window that opens up, move to Advanced tab.
- In the Property section, choose ‘Network Address.’
- You’ll find a section called ‘Value‘ on the right side in which you have to type the address you’ve written down, which is your Physical address.
- Click ‘Ok‘ and restart your computer.
7. Reset the Router
Resetting the router is one of the simplest things to do, and in most cases, it finishes the job, without the need for more complicated methods. So, how to reset the router? Well, it’s simple… a lot simpler than rocket science, don’t you worry! Pick up your router and take a look at it. You see the small Reset button (like a hole), usually located at the back? That’s what you are going to need. But, this button can’t be pressed by a finger, so you’ll need a needle or toothpick to press it. In order to reset the router, press the button for around 15 to 20 seconds and then release it. Wait around a minute for the router to stabilize itself and then try to reconnect to the internet.
8. Try different device
This is also one of the simplest steps on our list to determine the status and cause of your DNS error or errors. First, it will help you to determine if something is wrong with your router, and second, it will tell you if your device needs fixing, which you can fix with some of the steps above. If your primary device is PC, try connecting to your network via laptop, smartphone, tablet or any other device you have. If they successfully connect to the internet without DNS issues, then it’s the device problem. However, here’s a trick. If you the second device still won’t connect to the internet, it’s not sure that it’s a router problem. It’s best to use your mobile data to determine the cause of the problem. If you can’t establish a connection even then, then the error is on the site’s end (you can confirm it by visiting other sites.)
9. Power cycle computer and router
This method works great, for those who use the WiFi router. The whole point of this method is to release the residual charge and clear the memory, by unplugging the router and computer from the power source. But don’t hurry to reconnect them again; leave it like that for few minutes, just to make sure that the job is done, and then reconnect them. Wait for your router to stabilize, and then turn on your PC. Now check if everything is okay.
10. Disable Windows Firewall
Windows Firewall is great for defending your PC and taking care of its security. However, as you’ve probably known, Firewall can sometimes lead to problems with DNS that you simply can’t explain. It may be due to the fact that Firewall is here to protect your PC, so some features of the website or the whole website and connection may get blocked, so you’ll need to turn it off in order to diagnose the issue. How to disable Windows Firewall?
- Click on the Start button.
- Search for Windows Firewall by typing ’Firewall’ and click on the Windows Firewall option.
- In the window that opens, you’ll then see ’Turn Windows Firewall on or off’ option on the left sidebar, and you’ll need to click on that.
- There, Private Network Settings and Public Network Settings are displayed and if Firewall is turned on for both of them, try to disable it on both sides by choosing the ‘Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended)‘ option.
- Close down Control Panel and restart your PC
If that was a problem, you should now be fine, when you next time try to connect to the internet.
Note that, if you are using any other antivirus software, you have to disable the firewall inside that software. Just open the antivirus program, navigate to the settings and find the firewall option. Then disable it.
11. Use the Windows Safe Mode
Restarting your PC in Safe Mode will let you determine if some of the third-party apps are causing the trouble in connection, as this mode will boot up the Windows, only with the files necessary for its function. To start your PC in Safe Mode, follow the steps below:
- Restart your PC as you usually do.
- But upon restart (before the PC starts up and shows Windows logo) press the F8 key repeatedly.
- Then, you’ll get the list of 8 to 10 options, and you’ll need to choose the one called ‘Safe Mode with Networking‘ (usually number 4 or 5 on Windows 10) and press Enter.
- Now, the Windows will start the necessary services.
- Upon choosing it, Windows will boot, and you’ll see a black background and notice a low resolution, which is a sign of success.
Now open your web browser and test the connection. If the problem is gone, there is a big change that some third-party app is causing the issue.
12. Disable your Antivirus
Antiviruses tend to block some of the websites and apps, that can interfere with your DNS servers address. It’s best to turn off the particular Antivirus and then try to connect. If the problem is gone, you can start looking inside your Antivirus blocklist or completely uninstall it. Then use another convenient antivirus program.
DNS errors aren’t something that’s very complicated, and you can usually solve it in a matter of minutes. You can have a look at the above video as well. In our list, we listed the most important steps in fixing those errors, so you can now easily do this on your own. If you tried the given methods, which one solved your Domain Name Server issue?