Intermittent problem when browsing the internet, it's pot luck if a website loads or fails

Alan Duck
Alan Duck used Ask the Experts™
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We have a client with a Windows Server 2012 R2 with a number of PC’s & Laptops with a mixture of Windows 8, 8 and 10.

All users are experiencing an intermittent problem when browsing the internet. Some sites, even www.google.co.uk sometimes loads and other times we receive an error. If we reload / refresh the website, sometimes it will now load.

We experience this problem with IE11, Google Chrome or Firefox.

When a site loads in one browser, it often won’t load in one of the other browsers.

Having used chrome://net-internals/#dns in Google Chrome this shows that the DNS is not being resolved, sometimes, when the page is reloaded, the DNS resolves the correct IP Address.

Often, when we can access www.google.co.uk, if we perform a search, the search result does not display due to the same error.

Some PC’s have static IP Addresses and others are using DHCP.

The internal IP Address is using 172.16.20.xxx (this was set up by the previous IT Company) and we have the gateway set to 172.16.20.1 and the server is on 172.16.20.20. There is also a telephone system on the network. We have recently replaced the ADSL Router to try to resolve the issue.

Some of the PC’s with static IP Addresses have the following DNS Servers registered :-
172.16.20.1      (Router)
172.16.20.20      (Windows Server)
62.6.40.178      (BT Primary DNS Server)
62.6.40.162      (BT Secondary DNS Server)
8.8.8.8            (Google DNS Server)
8.8.4.4            (Google DNS Server)

BT & Google DNS Servers were added to try to resolve the problems, but we are still experiencing this intermittent problem.

Has anyone had a similar problem ?
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You should never use any DNS but your own. It only creates issues. On a domain anyway. Maybe you are seeing dhcp/static ip conflict issues. You should just use dhcp, except maybe network printers for ip.
Alan DuckTechnical Director

Author

Commented:
The problem was apparent prior to the external DNS Servers being added, the original DNS settings were 172.16.20.1 and 172.16.20.20. These are internal IP Addresses which are a legacy from the previous IT Support Company.

Outlook also seems to disconnect from Exchange Online intermittently.
Chris HInfrastructure Manager

Commented:
Try using 4.2.2.2 and 4.2.2.3 instead of the 8.x.x.x and see if the problem resides a little or completely.   I have trouble with the 8.x.x.x's all the time on our guest internet.  I changed it to our ISP's external name server and it hasn't dropped yet.  I think the problems related to 8.x.x.x queries is the rate control.  Some browser sessions with ads can query up to 50 DNS records per, so multiply that times all your users and of course google is going to tell you to go away.  Usually if it fails and the second time around it always works, it's an indication that the second DNS server listed in the client's tcp/ip settings should usually be swapped with the primary (if they're both external--not true for a windows domain, though)

Windows dns server is pretty hearty.  If you're on a domain and you have an exchange server, you HAVE to have your local dns server setup correctly with forwarders and root hints, otherwise this is going to cause you grief.  You may also go in and make sure you don't have any hand created conflict A records or PTR records that the old IT company put in.
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Commented:
Are you saying that hosts on your network are set up to use 172.16.20.1 for DNS?  The router?
If so, change that, and see if the problem goes away - routers typically do not act as DNS servers
If you want to use google dns you will also have to add them to the router.
Technical Director
Commented:
we have added a sub zone pointing the WWW. domain to the DNS server holding the web domain.
it appears after testing for three days it appears to have solved the problem.
Alan DuckTechnical Director

Author

Commented:
has no one came up with a solution which cured the problem we had to solve it ourselves

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