DNS - slow or intermittent

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
6 posts Page 1 of 1
by Subscriber » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:40 pm
Is anyone else seeing this? It appears to be flaky intermittent DNS service.

DNS and something else, 'handshake' (?) can take seconds to proceed at times. Messages reporting these steps show at the bottom of the screen. For a complex page with many links the process can take several seconds. Sometimes even a simple page fails altogether. Sonic and Ookla's speedtest show normal speed - when I can connect to them. I recently participated in an hour-long online interactive class with no breaks in communication, in contrast to the continual difficulty I have clicking on successive news articles, for example.

Often after a long wait the modem reports 'unable to connect to [central office]' while my EOP connection from the PC and printer, and wireless links from the laptops to the modem, remain connected. Rebooting the modem has seldom helped. In rare instances, likely just luck, a connection was found after the modem had been off for a minute but the same minute reconnect is also the result of simply waiting.

I have service in Sebastopol and another in Sacramento. Both FTTN provided via ATT. Different model modems provided by Sonic at the two locations. Identical DNS problems at both. All my observations point to ATT's DNS servers being flaky.

Both modems require use of ATT's central DNS servers, hard coded into the modem, rather than naming a different DNS server in the modem.

In the past I've had many visits from ATT and Sonic's techs and in both locations have replaced Cat5 between the entry point at the modem after both told me they had eliminated all possibilities, so that house cabling was the only remaining variable. In both locations, each less than 6 ft, the new cable made no difference. If a Sonic tech is reading this, see my multiple tickets before I gave up several months ago.

Any advice, or a workaround?
by miken » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:42 pm
To rule out a DNS issue you could try connecting through Sonic VPN (https://wiki.sonic.net/wiki/VPN_Service) or by changing the DNS on your device's network adapter to something else (like Google's
Mike N.
Development Trainer
by Subscriber » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:50 pm
Thanks! Changing the NIC ivp4 from Automatic to / improved getting the complete Google news page from 25 seconds down to a couple of seconds. Google content immediate, then doubleclick etc still fumbling a little.

Your suggestion gives me a path to explore.

by Guest » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:16 pm
I have Sonic's FTTN (Uverse) service and experience the same symptoms. After a number of service calls, I gave up on getting help from either AT&T or Sonic.

I think you are onto something. It seems that AT&Ts DNS service is really poor. I just changed to Google's DNS by changing the settings in my computer and noticed a significant improvement. I will probably not stay with Google's DNS because of their data collection (logging), but will use this as a test to confirm the source of the problem.

Sonic support should have recognized the symptoms I was describing and documenting and suggested a DNS change as an experiment.
by tjmc » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:34 am
Something was going on Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm with Sonic's DNS.


Currently it looks like something's up with Google's DNS (

by kgc » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:14 pm
tjmc wrote:
Something was going on Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm with Sonic's DNS.

Do you have smokeping stats for the entire path to the DNS servers as well response times for both ICMP and UDP DNS requests to the name servers themselves?
Kelsey Cummings
System Architect, Sonic.net, Inc.
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