Time Warner was recently in the news for implementing this practice, with Embarq and RCN quickly following their lead. I expect every ISP will soon be monetizing their DNS service in the near future by redirecting page not found errors to link farms and ad pages. There could be an upside. DNS servers have traditionally been the last to be upgraded at ISP’s since DNS performance has never been a marketable asset. Then again, there was no need to upgrade just to redirect page not found errors. Perhaps better and faster DNS servers will come with the change.
We mentioned last week that Time Warner Cable would be joining the growing ranks of ISPs that use DNS redirection in order to create a revenue stream out of misspelled URLs. Our users are also confirming that Embarq is at least testing the service in a few markets, redirecting users to this search portal. We’re trying to confirm with RCN that they’re testing the technology as well. (from Broadband Reports)
If this annoys you, then you’ll be happy to know there is a very easy work around. The good news is you are not locked into your ISP’s DNS. You can switch DNS from you ISP’s default to Open DNS by setting up an account at opendns.com. It’s possible to configure individual computers and most routers with easy to understand instructions, or the more tech savvy can just change to the open DNS name servers at 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199. Changing back is just as simple if you’re not happy with the results.
I have been using Open DNS in my residence for more than 2 years because the performance is far better plus it enables me to filter certain content I would rather no have coming into my home (visit their site for more info). Fair warning: Open DNS DOES redirect page not found to a monetized page. I am however convinced that I am getting something in return in better performance and more utility.
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