DNS

Do I need a VPN to change my DNS?

Episode 1518

Richard from West LA

Does Richard have to create a VPN to set up his DNS settings? Leo says no. DNS is essentially the phone book that the internet uses to look your address up. You don't use a VPN for that. VPNs are for encrypted net traffic. OpenDNS is the best DNS that Leo likes. CloudFlare is another. Quad Nine. Google even has a secure DNS. All are great if you're concerned about privacy, as it allows you to filter traffic at the router level. Log into your router, look for the DNS settings, and input the DNS address of your DNS server.

Why did my website stop working?

https://www.godaddy.com/

Episode 1488

Laurie from Palm Springs, CA

Laurie has a business with a website on Google, and now her website is offline after making a few changes to it. Leo says that it's very easy to make a coding mistake and take a site offline. It's possible that her GoDaddy DNS record has been modified and it no longer resolves to the right web host. So giving GoDaddy a call and having them fix the lookup to reflect the proper DNS address may help solve the problem.

Why and I getting a DNS Server error?

OpenDNS

Episode 1405

Tom from North Carolina

Tom is having issues with Google's DNS server not responding. DNS is the phone book for the internet. It takes the URL and converts it to the unique IP address for that website. It will look in local memory first, then the router, and then the Internet Service Provider for the address. It can even go beyond that to the master servers that house all domain names and DNS lookups. If it can't find it, you get an error message that there's a kink in the chain. That could mean there's something broken on your PC, or even your ISP's servers.

How can I control internet access for my kids?

Episode 1159

Don from Cypress, CA

Don wants to be able to cut off access to the internet with a touch of a button. Leo says that some routers allow him to do this by MAC address (called an "access control list"). They can set the internet to go off at certain times. He can also go to OpenDNS.com and use their DNS system to filter out unwanted websites. This will work for smartphones as well.

Why am I getting a red message going to Google?

Episode 1040

Aaron B from Phoenix, AZ

Aaron is having an issue where all of his computers get redirected to "CloudFlair.com" when he tries to access Google. Leo says that Aaron's ISP is doing that. It's a service that specializes in protecting people against attacks. Could he change to OpenDNS? Leo says sure, but he may end up getting a different, but similar message. This is something browsers do with expired or mismatched certificates. Leo says that Aaron should try using Google's DNS, which is 8.8.8.8.

How can I limit my kid's internet exposure?

Episode 1030

Max from Palos Verdes, CA

Max has teenage girls and they live on the Internet. What can he do to limit their use? Leo says that most routers can limit time. Apple's Airport can limit time and even restrict specific computers (look in the advanced settings and filter by MAC address). He should also lock down his router with password protection. He can also use OpenDNS to limit where they can go.