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My ISP constantly has trouble keeping their DNS servers up (or so it seems). Does anyone have any good suggestions for a local caching server that can be installed on Windows Vista?

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migrated from Apr 10 '10 at 9:24

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Well, it sounds like what you need is a backup service - so in that case I'd recommend OpenDNS. It's free, and it works and you could switch to it whenever your ISP's DNS servers are giving you issues.

The service doesn't require registration, but if you register there are some added benefits. I should probably add that some people view the offering in a more paranoid way (because OpenDNS gets to see all your traffic), but I haven't found any pointers to give in to that.

Been using them at home for over a year. Or maybe two. :)

Their DNS servers are:

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Better than my answer – Brent.Longborough Sep 21 '08 at 14:27
Thanks. :) I just extended my answer too. – Till Sep 21 '08 at 14:36
This option sounds like the best. Thanks for the response, I will give it a try immediately. – Jason Stevenson Sep 21 '08 at 16:54
Hope you like. I've been very pleased with them. – Till Sep 21 '08 at 18:42
It's working great. I haven't had an outage yet. The best part is, I just set it in my router and the whole family benefits, not just my PC. – Jason Stevenson Sep 22 '08 at 8:39

Windows XP and Vista both create a local DNS cache by default. You can use ipconfig with the following options, /dislaydns, /flushdns, and /registerdns, to examine and control the cache. Also, you may want to add a few of you favourite sites to your hosts file for when their servers are down.

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Take a look at treewalk

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I'm having great difficulty getting the Treewalk service to run under Vista 32 Ultimate. Do you have any ideas? I have UAC disabled, but the named.exe keeps crashing. – Jason Stevenson Sep 21 '08 at 14:52

ISC Bind 9

BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) is an implementation of the Domain Name System (DNS) protocols and provides an openly redistributable reference implementation of the major components of the Domain Name System, including:

  • a Domain Name System server (named)
  • a Domain Name System resolver library
  • tools for verifying the proper operation of the DNS server

The BIND DNS Server is used on the vast majority of name serving machines on the Internet, providing a robust and stable architecture on top of which an organization's naming architecture can be built. The resolver library included in the BIND distribution provides the standard APIs for translation between domain names and Internet addresses and is intended to be linked with applications requiring name service.

Simple DNS Plus

The simple yet powerful DNS Server for Windows (runs on Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008)
With Simple DNS Plus you can host your own domain names, or simply speed up Internet access by running your own DNS server. Simple DNS Plus can easily be integrated with your web-site for ISP customer signup etc., or even a full web-based DNS solution. Simple DNS Plus also comes with a DHCP server plug-in, a DNS Look Up tool, and many other features...

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Simple DNS isn't free, it looks like a great option if it were free. – Jason Stevenson Sep 21 '08 at 14:53
You can have free, or you can have easy to configure -- for a price. – Craig Trader Sep 21 '08 at 16:55

Use DNSBENCH.EXE on you home network. READ the instructions. You usually do not need a local. level 3 servers are very very fast. Some examples; (In use by me now) They are literally faster than my ISPS.

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next to opendns there is google's public dns-service:

Configure your network settings to use the IP 
addresses and as your DNS servers

(i personally use tinydns and dnscache on a freebsd-machine which does the paketfitlering and the routing)

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I've just installed ISC Bind 9.3 on a Windows XP box at it appears to be working fine. I plan to move it to a Vista box and upgrade to 9.5 sometime very soon. So far I have not seen anything to suggest that it won't run on Vista.

I've since moved it to Vista. No problems.

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