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I'm having problems with my ISP's DNS server. I'm able to do everything except visit any website using my browser through the website's domain name. I was with the technical support for 30 minutes trying to convince them that the DNS server was down but he kept on telling me there was an internet connection outage. I even explained to him that I was able to visit websites by using their IP addresses and by changing my DNS server to the Google's Public DNS server. He continued to tell me that the service was down in my area and that I had to wait 12 hours and call back. I'm also able to access other applications like Skype and such. So my question is, can ISP's DNS server go down and if so, why don't they know about it? Also are they able to reset my DNS to another server? Also what can and should I do in these situations?

EDIT: I was checking around the configuration of my router, and I saw that my DNS server settings were changed from automatic to static. Here are the servers IPs.

PRIMARY DNS: 162.221.227.18 SECONDARY DNS: 162.221.227.20

Is there a way I can figure out who changed these settings? I know it is not someone in my household. Could it be a hacker? How can I know where theses IP addresses are leading to? Is my network and it's traffic compromised? What other risks do I need to worry about?

Thanks.

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In order to answer if you can figure out how the DNS entries were set to static we'd need to know what make and model of router you have to know if there is a possibility of pulling a log file from it. It is possible, though I have not verified, that those could be malicious DNS servers. –  Jason Aller Mar 28 at 1:03
    
The IP address owner is Serverel. Here is the link to the information I found on the IP address: myip.ms/info/whois/162.221.227.18 –  Tech1337 Mar 28 at 1:05
    
My router is a Netgear WGR614v9. I had recently enable remote management and the password for the login isn't too hard to guess either. I guess I should of been more careful. I was able to pull up some logs but it only shows it from 2 hours ago. –  Tech1337 Mar 28 at 1:10
    
I'd suggest doing some security spring cleaning. Run full scans with the tools you've got, change passwords, monitor credit card statements, etc. –  Jason Aller Mar 28 at 1:13
    
If I call my ISP and report this incident are they able to lookup the IP address that accessed my network and are they allowed to share that information? –  Tech1337 Mar 28 at 1:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Can ISP's DNS server go down and if so, why don't they know about it? - Like everything else, they can go down.

Why didn't they know about it? - It could be that the tech you talked to:

A. Was not experienced enough to understand the problem.

B. Understood and was aware of the problem but was pushing you off for some reason.

Also are they able to reset my DNS to another server? - They can't change the configuration on your computer directly but they could change the DNS servers provided to your Cable/DSL modem, which would then be provided to your computer via DHCP, assuming that's how you've got things configured. They could also set up forwarders on their end so that their DNS servers simply forward your DNS queries to other DNS servers.

Also what can and should I do in these situations? - Use another set of DNS servers. There's no technical reason that you need to use their DNS servers. I generally don't use my ISP DNS servers. I typically use Google's public DNS servers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4).

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In many cases, "tech support" has no techies on the first level. –  Alexander Mar 28 at 9:20
    
Haha, I guess all these questions I asked were rhetorical questions. But still a good explanation. Thanks. –  Tech1337 Mar 28 at 13:15

Yes, it happens. It has happened many times to me over the years.

When it happens, I simply do as you did and manually change my connection to use Google's DNS servers at 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

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Occurred a few times for me too. But remember to switch back to your ISP's DNS as it will probably have lower latency. –  Ramchandra Apte Mar 28 at 12:25

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