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When you surf the web, do you find that it can sometimes take a long time to locate the web address that you just entered but once it does locate it, you can get the contents of the site so much faster? Is there something wrong with your device? Well not really. It’s just been set to default settings which is why it’s so slow. To speed it up, you just need to change a setting which should take you less than a minute and voila, you will be having a much shorter ‘location’ time.

The Reason

Why is it so slow? It’s all about the DNS which stands for Domain Name System. All the internet address are actually a series of numbers in the following format: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx. To simplify things, the powers that be have linked such numbers to a URL. For example, microsoft.com’s DNS is 207.46.197.32 so if you were to enter that into your browser’s address bar, it would take you to microsoft.com. Of course it would be much easier to just remember and type microsoft.com right?

So in a nutshell, when you type microsoft.com, the query gets sent to your network’s computers which will look up it’s DNS and then find the site which it then sends to you.

Now the reason for the slow down is that your network may not have a high priority on the DNS lookups or it could just be plain overloaded. As a result, you might see the ‘locating’ status for quite a while.

The Solution

All you need to do is use a custom DNS server. You don’t have to get one for your own, there’s a free version and I will walk you through the guide.

Speed Up Internet Explorer: Connection icon

1. Go to Start > Settings and then select the Connections tab. Tap on the Connections icon.

Speed Up Internet Explorer: Manage existing connections

2. Under My ISP heading, tap on Manage existing connections.

Speed Up Internet Explorer: Choose your connection to edit

3. You will be presented with a screen similar to the one above. Choose the connection that you usually use for surfing (if there are more than one connection) and click on the Edit button.

Speed Up Internet Explorer: Advanced settings

4. Tap Next a couple of times until you reach the screen above. Usually, you only need to tap Next twice to get here but your provider might have changed the settings so do check. When you finally get to this screen, tap the Advanced… button and then select the Servers tab.

Speed Up Internet Explorer: DNS server settings

5. You will be presented with the above screen. Select the option for Use specific server address and enter 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220 in the DNS and Alt DNS row respectively.

Speed Up Internet Explorer: New DNS servers

6. You should get the screen shot above. Once completed, tap on the OK/Close button in the top right corner of your screen. You will be brought to the previous screen at Step 4. Tap Finish and you are all set.

Steps take from OpenDNS.

Additional Points

  • Do create a backup by writing down the address of the servers that you have replaced in the event that you need to use them in the future.
  • These settings only affect Pocket Internet Explorer because that application does not have such a setting in itself. However, you might be using a browser that does have such a setting and in this case, you would want to change the settings in that application as well.
  • The servers above belong to OpenDNS so they are reliable. You could use other DNS servers if you know and have access to them.
  • Sometimes, after applying the tweak, you might not notice a significant improvement. This means that the DNS lookup was not the cause of your slow surfing to begin with.
  • If you surf with more than one connection, you will need to apply the tweak to all the connections.

So there you have it. Simple steps to go about speeding up your Pocket Internet Explorer.

Thanks to WMExperts for this tweak.

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6 Comments

Comment by Henk-Jan
2008-03-06 05:07:32

Now if the delay in surfing is caused by lack of priority in the IPS’s network - why will any alternative DNS server improve name resolution? It might even add delay rather than reducing it because DNS traffic now has to leave the provider’s network to OpenDNS over internet-exchanges that might be low on bandwidth. In general an ISP’s internal network will have sufficient bandwidth available, and at least more than their uplink to the rest of the internet…

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-03-06 10:36:56

In some cases, the delay is caused by a lack of priority for DNS lookups; all other activities such as trasmitting data are uninterrupted. In such an event, an alternative DNS would improve the name resolution because you send it to a location that would complete the query relatively faster.

Yeah I do agree that generally the ISP’s bandwidth should be sufficient; it’s just how they process the data behind the scenes that’s unknown.

 
 
Comment by motohead
2008-03-06 08:58:38

I tied this a while back after seeing it on WMExperts but havent had the greatest results. Every time I go back into my connection settings, I find that my settings automatically switched back to “use server assigned addresses” even if I do not do a soft reset. Strange.

I also applied Malatesta’s reg edits to Increase “Maximum number of concurrent connections” in PIE. But again, I’m not noticing a dramatic difference in speed. It could be my location. Any ideas?

Keep up the great work with the blog!!

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-03-06 10:38:26

Your settings switched back? What device are you using?

Like you said, it could be your location, or your provider or even your device’s configuration. It’s really hard to pinpoint a fault in this case but you can rest assured that if you tried those hacks and they do not work, then you can assume that those are not to be blamed for the slowdown.

Thanks for your compliments :D

 
 
Comment by becky
2008-03-17 13:55:07

This makes so much sense.. I think I first learned about the whole DNS system a few years ago… would be easier if I could remember the numbers as well the word domain names, but alas.. I’m not a genius. Hah.

Comment by Tariq Bamadhaj
2008-03-17 15:31:28

This would help you much better. Don’t bother stuffing such numbers into your mind. It’ll just confuse you more.

 
 

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