Bypassing TM’s DNS server (and some Governance)

Thanks to the headsup from [Raz], I decided to try OpenDNS and see if it wouldn’t solve my problems of getting Photobucket images to load. I used to have this pattern where I wouldn’t be able to see any images after 7pm on my comp. This was rather annoying, as from time to time, images from other sites would also be blocked (surprisingly, 4chan was NOT one of them).

How does OpenDNS work?

The Internet is governed by numbers, not letters. Whenever you put in an address like Google.com, a DNS server will query the name and find the matching IP address. In this case, it will return 64.233.187.99, which is Google’s IP, and will fetch the data from that address to your browser and display the Google page.

Generally, your DNS server is your ISP. TMNut, which is the ISP I am stuck with, is not known to be a very good host; there are signs of traffic shaping and capping being done to “manage” bandwidth. In recent times, I’ve noticed a very peculiar trend for the past few months; Photobucket was blocked to me around 6pm onwards (at home, work has no probs) and my gaming speeds have been very erratic since then.

Of course, even more telling is when a site like YouPorn returns a Server not found error despite the domain being well and alive, as according to Who.Is.*

So when I got home, I decided to try it out and see what would happen.

Well, the first thing I noticed was that my Photobucket pictures FINALLY loaded! I could see [EducateDeviate]’s new hairstyle on LJ without me having to wait till the next day to see pictures. Then my torrent speeds worked. They were back to pre-TM-capped speeds (we’re talking around 85kb min) although yes, dad’s connection sucked instead :P .

For now, at least, OpenDNS seems to have made my connection speed move faster and I’ve bypassed TM’s censorship-by-keywords DNS server, but if there’s anything I learnt on the Net, is that there’s always good with the bad. Consider using Open DNS only if this don’t bother you (copypastaed from Wiki):

Normally DNS requests are handled by the ISP, which already has access to all of your data going upstream through your connection. When using OpenDNS, the DNS requests go through this new third-party company, which exposes you to potential tracking of your web activity by the OpenDNS company.

There’s also something I’d like to check out. After using OpenDNS for a bit, Raz’s connection took a near-fatal turn for the worse. He’s paying for Broadband but is getting WORSE than Dialup speeds instead. I’m going to switch and see if it’s because TM doesn’t play nice OpenDNS.

Another reason why I’m using Open DNS is because Mkini has apparently been hard to access by STREAMYX subscribers (TMNut customers). I wonder if that is because TM has started to block content now.

*Note: I advocate using porn to test connection speeds and sites; these sites are generally the last sites of the Net that will go down, and the Net, after all, was built upon the demand for it. Yes, humans are base, lustful animals, so deal with it. Just remember to watch out for the malware.

Mama Edit: This is very worrisome news. No matter what people are saying, I’m inclined to believe that this IS part of a wider crackdown, especially in the view of Malaysiakini’s pink banner telling people to head on over to their secondary server because there “Some streamyx users may be having problems accessing Malaysiakini.” (emphasis mine).

[Erna], I fear our country too now.

1 Response

  1. Raz July 2, 2008 / 9:14 AM

    In before 4chan gets blocked, and before we become China.

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