Resolving “The DNS server isn’t responding” error message

DNS stands for ‘Domain Name System’, which is a technique developed to assign IP (Internet Protocol) addresses to domain names. It is like the phone book of the Internet, which assigns numbers to domain names of sites. Every computer connected to the Internet has a unique IP address which is a series of numbers separated by dots. Every web site is hosted on a web server and it has a unique IP address assigned to it. You can open a site by directly typing in the IP address after ‘http://’.

However, it is difficult to remember IP addresses for all websites and simpler to remember and recall domain names or host names of sites. That is why the hierarchical domain name system was developed. This system converts the domain names of sites that you type in the browser address bar into IP addresses. Then the web server, hosting that website, is located and the page is served on your computer, once a connection has been established to it through your ISP (Internet Service Provider) using the ‘Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP)’. A local DNS server, implements this ‘IP address’ lookup system for every ISP. In short DNS is a kind of an interface which translates domain names into IP addresses and vice versa.

A DNS server error occurs when the server cannot resolve IP address corresponding to the domain name you typed in the web browser. There can be many reasons why you might get such an error. The error may be local or remote. By local, I mean that the problem may have arisen due to Internet connectivity problems on your side. The problem may be remote in the sense that the web server hosting that website may have some problems like lack of authentication, which might be giving you the error. In this case, there is no option but to wait, till the problem is solved at the web server, hosting the site.

How can you check to see if the error is local or remote? Try opening other websites and if they all open, except one, which is giving you the error, then the problem may be remote. If none of the web pages are getting displayed, then you may have an internet connectivity issue. XBOX 360 or PS3 DNS error may occur due to faulty Internet connection settings in the connected wireless router. In such a case, it is most likely that your Internet connection is not working properly.

How to Fix a DNS Server Error?

There are many problems that may cause this type of an error. Here are some of the basic things that you could do to fix it.

Change Firewall Settings
The incoming and outgoing Internet data traffic to and from your personal computer is controlled by a firewall. Certain software programs may be banned from accessing the Internet through firewall settings. Your browser itself may have gotten blocked by the firewall. To resolve the problem, go to the ‘Control Panel’ and open the windows firewall settings. Under ‘Exceptions’ tab, if your browser isn’t added, click on ‘Add Program’ and click on your browser in the list of programs that open. Click on ‘OK’. Open the ‘Add Port’ option and enter the name ‘HTTP’ for name and the number 80 for port number. With that, your browser will be released from the firewall ban and your DNS server error may be resolved. So whenever a DNS error is displayed, check out the firewall settings.

Clear DNS Cache
Every time a site is opened in a browser, a request is sent to the DNS server for IP address translation. The retrieval of the IP address information is stored on your computer in the ‘DNS cache’. Next time, when you enter the request for the same web site again, the DNS information is retrieved from the cache itself, to save time and provide a faster browsing experience. The contents of the DNS cache can be looked up by the command- ‘ipconfig / displaydns’ entered in the command prompt.

However, if there was an earlier unsuccessful attempt at retrieving IP address, that negative attempt information gets stored in the cache too. So, subsequent attempts at opening the site may fail, as the information may be retrieved from the cache which has no information. That’s why, to resolve the issue, you need to clear your DNS cache by typing in the command – ‘ipconfig /flushdns’ in the command prompt. This may get rid of the error message and the site may get loaded. In most cases, this procedure should solve your problem.

Clear Cookies & Browsing History
Also, clear the cookies and browsing history on your browser that may be causing a problem in displaying the page. This may help in resolving the error.

Check DNS Settings
Check the DNS settings for your internet connection. Get information from your ISP about the right DNS settings and see to it that those are entered correctly or match with your DNS settings. Entering the right DNS settings might solve your problem.

A local error is bound to get fixed with any of the above suggested fixes. If none of this works, contact your ISP for a resolution of the problem, as there may even be a problem from their side,which is causing the error.

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Source: Buzzle

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