"www" or Not??

For some reason latley I've had trouble getting too some sites when using www in my url address.  For example I could not get into "Hotmail" or the "Drudgereport" and could not figure out why. The address was "www.hotmail.com" and "www.drudgereport.com".  Anyway I was really lost as to why I could not get into the sites.  Just for the hell of it I just typed in "hotmail.com" and then tried "drudgereport.com" and I went right in.  Another problem, when I was at the "drudge" page, I wanted to go to one of his links, one of the newpapers, and I could not get there.  Again, I removed the www from the address of the newspaper and I went there right away.   I don't under stand it and I haven't done anything to my computer or IE 5 to change it and cause this problem.  
Some times it doesn't matter.  for example, just now to get to "Expert Exchange" I just clicked on my bookmark that uses the "www" and it went there.  Can one of you guys tell me what my problem is and how I can "fix" my problem.  Your help will, as always be greatly appreciated.  
One thing that may have changed my IE5 is that I downloaded the critical updates from Microsoft, I don't know if something was in that and could have caused me my problems.  ?????????
earlhopAsked:
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BrainMasterCommented:
try opening a dos prompt (start->progrms->msdos prompt or command prompt. then type "ping hotmail.com" (no quotes) you should get something like:

Pinging www.hotmail.com [216.33.151.7] with 32 bytes of data:
(and some more lines)
the 216.33.151.7 is the IP of that server.
Now type "ping www.hotmail.com" and check what it has for an IP. Does it have one? is it the same as the IP from the previous one?

(to exit the command prompt, type "exit")

if nether show an IP try another set like drudgereport.com amd www.drudgereport.com, yahoo.com and www.yahoo.com ...etc
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chewymonCommented:
Interesting.  I mostly use IE5 with all the updates on the MS site, and www.hotmail.com works just fine. Under Tools>Internet Options>Advanced, do you have "Always send URL as UTF-8" checked?
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netmageCommented:
In most cases the difference between fully qualified domain name like server.com and www.server.com is a simple DNS CNAME (alias) entry.

eg:
D:\>ping www.drudgereport.com

Pinging www.drudgereport.com [216.55.4.252] with 32 bytes of data:

D:\>ping drudgereport.com

Pinging drudgereport.com [216.55.4.252] with 32 bytes of data:

NOT: The ip address is the same.


Here's some info found using NT's NSLOOKUP util with Hotmail.com

> hotmail.com

hotmail.com     nameserver = NS1.hotmail.com
hotmail.com     nameserver = NS3.hotmail.com
hotmail.com     internet address = 216.33.151.7
hotmail.com     internet address = 209.185.243.135
hotmail.com     internet address = 216.32.243.7
hotmail.com     internet address = 209.185.243.7

hotmail.com     nameserver = NS1.hotmail.com
hotmail.com     nameserver = NS3.hotmail.com
NS1.hotmail.com internet address = 207.82.250.83
NS3.hotmail.com internet address = 209.185.130.68

www.hotmail.com


www.hotmail.com internet address = 216.32.243.7
www.hotmail.com internet address = 209.185.243.7
www.hotmail.com internet address = 209.185.243.135
www.hotmail.com internet address = 216.33.151.7

hotmail.com     nameserver = NS1.hotmail.com
hotmail.com     nameserver = NS3.hotmail.com
NS1.hotmail.com internet address = 207.82.250.83
NS3.hotmail.com internet address = 209.185.130.68
> exit

Carefully studying the response shows that www.hotmail.com and Hotmail.com has the entries looking at the registered namservers that in an effort to load balance split traffic but its still the same group of servers.

This is Generally the way all nameservers work and the there is really no difference between having www or not.

DNS works backwards in that it sees com first then hotmail and so on till it finds a registration.
So,without a www it should be found first.

Pinging hotmail.com from where i am gives a timeout even after a 10 sec ping timeout which leads me to believe the ping port at hotmail is firewalled and won't respond.

To answer your question:
At times the web traffic at your ISP may mean that you get timeouts when trying to resolve an address.

The Fix:
Your isp needs to upgrade the DNS server so that it includes a dynamically caching DNS server with good lookup points.

At your machine if the connection to your isp does not include automatic DNS settings, ensure you have correct DNS entries (2)in your tcp/ip dialup settings as provided by your isp.

To test and proove:
Logon at a known light web traffic time like early in the morning and see if things improve.


Regards

Netmage



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kodiakbearCommented:
Fixed the -1 problem on this question.
Escrow points corrected.

kb
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