Book Review: Heads You Win

BSNL broadband and DNS servers

My BSNL broadband adventures seem never ending. Last Friday evening, I tried to connect to internet through BSNL broadband at home. The modem flashed the right colors and the modem web console showed everything was A-OK.

But nslookup to any hostname (yahoo, google, gmail) failed with a timeout.

I looked at my modem configuration and got the DNS IP addresses. I could ping to them. I tried to query them and either got time-out or "query rejected"

I waited till Saturday morning. No change in status.

I called up 1504, the customer service number in Bangalore. After the usual wait and retries, got connected to a service personnel. He asked me to do the usual - restart modem, check various entries. I interjected when I had the chance, to tell him that the DNS servers were down.

He asked me for the DNS server entries and when I told him, said no, they were incorrect. He gave me two other IP (which differed from mine in the last digit). I asked how it changed from the morning, when it had worked.

In any case, I tried with these DNS servers, to no avail. The engineer was clueless and after keeping me on hold for a few minutes, said there "could be some problem in Marathahalli or Jayanagar" and try after an hour.

No change after one hour. I called the customer service again. This time I could not get through at all.

The next day I woke up with a brainwave. Would I be able to connect to any site if I knew the IP - the problem was only the lookup. For sample, I had my company VPN server, which luckily was an IP address (rather than a hostname). To my joy, I could successfully get connected to the VPN. Thereafter the VPN DNS server took over and I could browse the internet.

I then searched for free DNS servers and found this one. I configured my modem to use this.

Thereafter I did not need to use the VPN. One more dependency on BSNL was gone.