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I tend to use Google's public DNS, I don't like my ISP DNS because it takes too much time to refresh.

Today I have got a page from them saying that you should change the DNS to their DNS because they are doing some fixing?

Are they really able to do so and am I really safe if I use their DNS?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Your ISP still has the ability to see where you route your traffic, regardless of it is to their DNS or to another open DNS provider like GOOGLE DNS or OPENDNS.

In either case, it is best to either a) set your DNS Settings directly on the router, or b) directly on any pc that doesn't wish to use your ISP's DNS.

Not really a matter of safety here; they are your ISP, they can see what you are routing; unless you decide to use an external proxy that routes your traffic only to that proxy and then out to other sites, the ISP can see pretty much anything you do on your network connection.

Note, they are NOT able to force you to use their DNS; that is your decision, and something you can directly override, but they can provide page redirection, etc, and inform you of DNS outages, changes, and such.

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and ads. my isp redirects to ads, which is why i set the dns on my router manually. – horatio Jan 4 '12 at 19:32
The ISP usually is not permitted to redirect any traffic to external advertising; as popups etc are tightly controlled. I would check your computer for malware using MalwareBytes Antimalware or Dr. Web Cureit to see if you have any infections that are adware. – zackrspv Jan 4 '12 at 19:33
it redirects to a captive page which also has ads – horatio Jan 4 '12 at 19:35
Almost all ISPs that I am aware of reroute faulty DNS lookups to their own page. They usually suggest what they think you were trying to find along with a bunch of context appropriate ads. – EBGreen Jan 4 '12 at 19:41
@zackrspv Technically, they can force you to use their DNS... as they can restrict any/all traffic to/from you to the public internet. As far as legality goes... it's dependent on the country/contract you are in/have signed etc... Now, weather or not they will restrict you is another matter entirely. – TheCompWiz Jan 4 '12 at 19:51

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