How did Starhub’s Outage Happen and How can you Prevent it?

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On 15 April 2020, Starhub users across Singapore reported issues with their internet connectivity. This came at an unfortunate time during the Covid-19 pandemic where most Singaporeans are working and studying from home.

Many users vented their frustrations on social media, such as the one below.

Starhub eventually released a statement explaining that the cause of the incident was due to its Domain Name Servers experiencing network issues.

Starhub provides its users with a default Starhub DNS server for them to serve the Internet.  

Here’s How You Can Avoid Being affected In The Future 

But, did you know you can prevent this issue from happening again by simply changing your DNS server from Starhub’s to a public DNS server? 

Fret not, changing it will not affect your browsing experience but instead improve it! 

DNS and its Benefits for your Browsing Experience

Before we delve into what DNS is, we need to know what an IP address is.

Image Source: Wikihow

Each server on the Internet has a unique public IP address, similar to postal codes.

Computers utilise this IP address to communicate with each other. 

When we access services such as Facebook, the computer needs to know the IP address of its server. However, IP addresses are not very intuitive for humans as they are long and hard to remember.

It’s a whole string of numbers!

An example is 31.13.77.35 which is the IP address of one of Facebook’s servers.

What a bummer…

Don’t believe us? You can try keying the IP address into your browser and you will find yourself on Facebook.com.

This is where DNS comes into play. DNS resolves domain names to IP addresses so instead of remembering 31.13.77.35, you just have to remember Facebook.com and it will be automatically on Facebook’s website. 

There are many DNS servers in the world, helping to resolve domain names to IP addresses. However, like computers, they experience unexpected downtime, sometimes due to maintenance or cybersecurity attacks. 

Alternative DNS Servers – 100% FREE!

There are several free, trusted and popular DNS servers which include Google’s (8.8.8.8) and CloudFlare’s (1.1.1.1).

Google and Cloudflare use advanced technologies, such as their global Anycast networks, to ensure zero lapses of performance lapses in terms of downtime and unavailability. So instead of using Starhub’s default DNS servers, you can change to Google’s or CloudFlare’s. 

In addition to increased uptime, you can expect a faster browsing experience as these servers are able to resolve DNS requests in mere milliseconds. 

Pro-Tip: You can also view sites restricted by the Government or Internet Service Provider (ISP) by changing your DNS too.

Here’s To Changing Your DNS Server

Follow these steps to change your DNS server to Google’s (8.8.8.8)

For Windows, 

  1. Open Control Panel from the Start menu
  2. Go to Network and Internet
  3. Go to Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings
  4. Right-click your Wi-Fi network > go to Properties
  5. Navigate to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
  6. Go to Properties
  7. Click Use the following DNS server addresses
  8. Key in 8.8.8.8
  9. Click OK

For Mac OS,

  1. Go to System Preferences. You can find it by pressing Command+Space on your Mac and typing System Preferences
  2. Click on the icon called Network
  3. Click Advanced
  4. Select the DNS tab. Remove any IP addresses that may be already listed and in their place add: 8.8.8.8
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Apply

For iOS, 

  1. Enter Settings
  2. Select Wi-Fi
  3. Tap on the small “i” icon next to the network that you are connected to
  4. Select Configure DNS
  5. Click Manual
  6. Remove the current DNS servers
  7. Click Add Server
  8. Input 8.8.8.8
  9. Hit save

For Android, 

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Wi-Fi
  3. Long press your current network, then select Modify network
  4. Select Show advanced options
  5. Click on IP settings
  6. Select Static
  7. Add 8.8.8.8 to the DNS 1 field
  8. Click Save before disconnecting and reconnecting back to the network for the change to take effect

Related:

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1.1.1.1 – A Simple Free App For Faster And Privacy First Internet (Cloudflare)

Technology Tips For Remote Working During COVID-19

Quarantini? – 3 Cocktail Recipes To Add To Your At-Home Bar Repertoire

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