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You can't use the net without DNS

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We like to avert our eyes from the fragility of this internet wonder, but sometimes it simply bites too hard to ignore. 

DNS Jumper allows many choices and much tweaking.

I tried out DNS Jumper because my four-letter-word of an internet provider was failing badly. Every day or two, I would be unable to reach this site or that, with my browser informing me that it could not find the DNS entry for, say, Yahoo or the Bangkok Post _ really.

What this means is that my computer and browser could not find the Domain Name Server (DNS) that my internet provider had assigned. In turn, this means that when I typed "bangkokpost.com", my browser had no idea how to translate that into the numbers that it could "dial" and connect me with the Bangkok Post website.

The fact that this was the fault of (four-letter expletive deleted) Corp Plc of Fortune Town didn't make me feel better, either. So to rid myself of my assigned DNS, I found DNS Jumper, and found I didn't just want this utility, I needed it.

You might, too.

And why? Well, there are some excellent reasons not to use the assigned DNS when surfing the internet. The standard DNS handed to you by your internet provider is often hacker-friendly, and usually slower than the alternatives.

Changing the DNS server on Windows is a time-consuming pain. You get to it via the control panel, then looking for your adapter, then choosing IP version 4 or 6.... and so on.

Meanwhile, from the other end, you must also Google to find the DNS you want to switch to, find out its two IP addresses... and so on.

In other words, just switching your domain name server is approximately as simple as convincing a man that the dirty clothes go in the dirty-clothes basket. Not only do you have to do this every time, you end up having to do every step yourself anyhow.

So. DNS Jumper. It does all of the above, except for the dirty clothes bit, with a couple of clicks _ all in one place, with most of the configuration already done for you. If you want to switch domain servers, a couple of clicks. If you want to go back to four-letter word, one click chooses "Restore" or just click the star.

It's portable software, meaning you can put it where you want, without having to install. The only warning, really, is not to move it, because the program creates its own configuration file and expects to find it where it left it _ they go together sort of like the dirty laundry and the laundry basket, dear, not that I'm bitter.

The software comes with a lengthy list of DNS servers _ 39 with the one I downloaded. These include at the top of the list the OpenDNS servers, best known for their excellent security at stopping intrusions, and Google Public DNS, which has quickly picked up an excellent reputation for speed and reliability.

The software works with all your equipment, and probably will detect your various connections if you have more than one _ hard-wire and Wi-Fi for example, as many of us do at home. You can get DNS Jumper to test the most-recommended servers for speed, and automatically select the fastest.

Click the little gear to add your own favourite, if you wish.

And this is the second wonderful use for DNS Jumper.

Next week, armed only with DNS Jumper and a smidgen of information we'll gleefully play the BBC iPlayer, dance to the Hulu TV programmes and Spot-ify our favourite music.

DNS Jumper is the work of the inventive minds at www.sordum.org.


Email: wandasloan@gmail.com

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