Switching to an External DNS Provider
The other day I discovered, and tweeted, that Bell Canada, my ISP, has started doing DNS Redirection. That is, if I try to visit a domain that does not exist, they send me to a page of search results for whatever I typed. This can be considered convenient, but it is kind of like connecting you to 411 if you misdial a telephone number – not exactly what I want. Bell offers an “opt-out”, but despite the name it it’s not an opt-out. They simply set a cookie in your browser that redirects you to yet another webpage that they attempted to make look like the error page from your browser, (and failed).
This wouldn’t really be a problem if I wasn’t developing a program for BonzoBox right now that checks to see if user-entered URLs really exist. All of the sudden I can’t test my work because no matter what domain name a URL starts with, it resolves, and returns a 200 status code to boot! This will not do.
I needed a new DNS provider, however, who do you trust? I tried out OpenDNS, but they do the same thing as Bell just started doing, (except, they’ve been doing it for a while, maybe always, and they’re up front about it). I read about how Level3 has great DNS servers, but if you look at level3.com it doesn’t mention it anywhere, (it’s not exactly what they’re known for).
I did run across some Level3 DNS Server addresses on DSLReports.com, but are they really Level3’s servers, or are they some hacker’s servers that has seeded the forum with some bogus info in order to capture my banking info? Well, a whois lookup told me that they do belong to Level3, so my new DNS servers are now 22.214.171.124 – 126.96.36.199. They’re even easy to type!
FYI: This does not appear to be a paid service from Level3, but if it was, it is something that I would be willing to pay a few dollars a year for.
Bell, on the other hand, is barely hanging on to my business. The only reasons I am still with them is 1) I am too lazy to research the alternatives, and 2) I have an old account with no monthly bandwidth cap. If I can find another service that is reliable and has no bandwidth cap, I may very well consider switching.