Monday, May 10, 2010

Imp info for India broadband users : many sites being blocked for no reason - change your PC's DNS addr to resolve

IMPORTANT info for all Airtel, Data-One (and maybe other) broadband users in India:

THE PROBLEM: Of late, more and more websites are becoming inaccessible - the internet is shrinking!
Just search for some random things on google images, and you will see that many of the results are leading to error, as if the site is down.
There is no real problem with the websites -- it's our ISP's (Internet service providers) that are at fault!

HOW can we know there's a problem with our ISP?
Go to a proxy browsing website like, enter the same URL from there and if it works, you'll know you're on to something. The same addresses are also working fine from my cell phone's GPRS connection and mobile internet providers like Reliance. But it seems all fixed line Broadband customers in India are being affected.

Example: (my website was using this and has gone DOWN since last 3 days!)
If the above link returns an error, then that means you too are one of the many internet users in India that are being blocked from selected websites! (originally, it's a small text file)

WHAT TO DO : There is a way to get around the problem in just 5 mins :
Replace your network adapter's DNS servers with OpenDNS server:
Credit to this site for the addresses. See the walkthrough below for details.

I don't know when our ISP's will wake up to fix this issue - my own website had been inaccessible since night of 7th May 2010. I replaced the DNS addresses, and instantly the problem was fixed. Please spread this simple fix to all your friends who are using Airtel Broadband or other services.

WALKTHROUGH: Follow these simple steps, for those who have Vista / Windows 7 Operating System: (for XP, skip to step 3)

1. Right-click on your connection icon (wireless as in my case, or could be LAN or other in your case)
Choose "Open Network and Sharing Center"

2. In the window that opens, click on "Change Adapter Settings" on the left pane

3. Now the Network Connections window will open up (XP Users may have a different way of directly reaching this).

It will list the various adapters etc you have in your comp, most usual being Local Area Connection and Wireless Network Connection.

4. Choose the one you use for your internet. Right-click and select Properties. The following window will open up:

Double-click, (or choose and click Properties) on "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)"

5. In the next window, in lower half, choose second DNS option ("Use the following DNS addresses")

Note down the exisitng ones in case you may have, and replace them with these OpenDNS addresses:

6. Press OK, then OK again, and now you're done!
If needed, disconnect your internet (or switch off your laptop's Wireless) and reconnect again to complete the changes.

7. Acid test to check: Browse to this URL:
And you should be able to see some simple text written instead of "taking too long to respond" or other such error.

I don't know when the broadband ISP's will fix their problem, but till then, this is a good work-around. There must be some legal recourse, because by blocking selected websites they are unlawfully restricting Internet freedom and that is illegal in India as of now. (Now I know how the Chinese feel!)

Please forward this to all your friends who are using Broadband internet in India!

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