My Maxwell Minute A Blog by Max Peterson


To Iowans: Still having Mediacom Internet Problems?

Since January 19th, Mediacom has been having problems with their DNS server.  For those of you who don't know what a DNS server is, check wikipedia.  This causes you to have problems accessing the Internet.  Either you have no access at all, or you can get to a few sites but not all.  I'm going to tell you what you can do about it!

By default, all your computers automatically will send DNS requests to the DNS server provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) like Mediacom.  It is very easy to change which DNS server your computer uses, and if you do you will no longer be affected by Mediacom's DNS woes.

I use the OpenDNS DNS servers.  You could potentially increase the speed at which your browser accesses websites if the DNS server you choose is faster than your ISP's, although the difference would most likely be barely visible.

To use the OpenDNS DNS servers, you need to change your computer's network connection to use the following DNS servers:

First open Network Connections.  You can access it by going through the Network and Sharing Center, or by typing "ncpa.cpl" into the start menu bar.

Then select your active connection.  Right-click on your active connection and choose properties.

Then select "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)" and click on Properties.

Choose "Use the Following DNS Server Addresses" and type in the IP addresses:

After that, click "OK" and then "Close" and you're done!

You can do this even if you aren't having problems with your internet.  I would bet that it is more reliable than your ISP's DNS servers.


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  1. I’ve also been having major latency and timeout issues with Mediacom’s DNS servers, which started several months ago in the Des Moines area. I’ve done some nslookup testing every few days, and nothing seems to be improving. With DNS being such a common ISP service, it’s baffling to me that this hasn’t been resolved yet.

    Your post is a great recommendation that provides an instant fix – I would further add that if you have access and feel comfortable enough, the new DNS servers you want to use should be configured in your Router, so that all computers connecting to your network for Internet access can have these new DNS Server addresses issued to them automatically via DHCP. That way you only make the change in one location, instead of manually on every computer.

    There are many, many Public DNS Servers out there to use in place of the problematic Mediacom one’s (see below for list).

    Personally, I like using Level3 because both their Primary and Secondary DNS Servers will automatically route your DNS request to the nearest local/regional DNS server operated by Level3 Communications (largest Internet backbone in the US). Level3 DNS provides exceptional performance.

    Google has also developed a tool that you run locally on your PC/Mac called “Benchmark”. Basically, using algorithms, browsing data and your ISP’s performance, it hunts down the fastest DNS servers available for your computer to use.

    Here’s a list of the most common Public DNS Servers used in the US (Updated April 2012):

    Level3 [1]

    Google [2]

    Comodo Secure DNS


    DNS Advantage

    Norton DNS

    ScrubIT [3]

    OpenNIC [3]


    [1] The DNS servers listed above as Level3 will automatically route to the nearest DNS server operated by Level3 Communications, the company that provides most of the ISPs in the US their access to the Internet backbone.

    [2] Google also offers IPv6 public DNS servers: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844.

    [3] ScrubIT also offers “filtered” DNS servers that restrict access to pornographic and malicious web sites. Those DNS servers are and and you can read more about it here.

    [4] The DNS servers listed here for OpenNIC are just two of many in the US and across the globe. Instead of using the OpenNIC DNS servers listed above, see their complete list of public DNS servers here and use two that are close to you. OpenNIC also offers some IPv6 public DNS servers.

    [5] These Public-Root DNS servers are the only two currently operating in the United States but if you’re located ouside the US, see their complete list here and choose the best servers based on your location.

  2. Thank you! Thank you! I have been struggling with intermittent internet connections that has been driving me nuts. Mediacomm rebooted that modem, I checked the router, and could not find a solution. I searched the internet and did see a number of hits suggest it is a DNS problem. Finding your post was the most helpful of all as it gave a specific solution. I configured my dlink router to use the 2 DNS servers you mentioned and now the problem is completely resolved!

  3. i have been trying this for a week now, and i still cannot connect to any website! Are there any other suggestions on how to fix this?

  4. Thank you SO much! Worked like a charm!

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