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PCstats Q & A - DNS Dilemma - PCstats.com PCstats Q & A - DNS Dilemma
Thu, April 14 2005 | 5:25PM | PermaLink Feedback?

Our first Q & A of the week comes from IamSam49 via the reader feedback page. Remember to try our friendly forums for help too.

Q: I hope you can help me, because I'm at my wit's end here. I have a home network of three computers with a SMC router sharing my DSL connection. Two of the three computers work just fine on the Internet, but the third (a Linux system I built using your Linux installation article)which I recently added does not. I use a static IP address for all my computers so I can remember where they are for file transfers, pings, etc. I generally think I know what I'm doing when it comes to networking but I'm lost here. The third computer has a correct static IP address. It can ping the router, it can ping the other two computers, it can even see network shares... But it cannot access the Internet. I've tried plugging it into different ports on the router, but no luck. What am I doing wrong?

A: The most obvious thing I can think of that would cause this problem is the DNS (Domain Name System) settings on your Linux computer. Are you sure you set them and set them correctly? SUSE 9.1 uses the YAST (Yet Another Setup Tool) program to configure network settings, and the DNS configuration is actually on a separate page from the IP address and subnet mask settings, so it's not as obvious as with Windows. Check your Windows boxes for the correct DNS IP address and make sure you set it on your SUSE Linux computer too. It's in one of the options on the main network adaptor configuration Window of YAST.

For anyone else out there experiencing unexplained Internet problems when your network seems to be working just fine, check your DNS settings. Without a DNS server to send requests to, your computer is unable to convert URLS (like www.pcstats.com) to IP addresses (like 66.117.33.212) and will be unable to navigate correctly on the Internet. If you are using your home router or a DHCP server to give out IP addresses automatically, DNS should also be configured automatically, but if you are using static addresses as per the question above, you need to set DNS separately. For a home setup, configuring your DNS to the IP address of your router or network sharing device should work fine.

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