Five Quick Fixes for Internet Connection Hang-Ups

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The ABCs of DNS

Sometimes you might have no trouble getting an Internet connection, yet for some mysterious reason you can't connect to a particular site that you easily reached previously. The problem most likely lies in the DNS client resolver cache. The Domain Name System (DNS) translates Internet-domain text names into IP numbers. For example, Amazon.com becomes 207.171.171.132.

The cache keeps a record of the sites you've recently visited and speeds up return visits to that site later. Occasionally part of this file can get corrupted, making it hard for your PC to remember where to find the sites you want. Cleaning it up usually resolves your site connection issues--and Ipconfig does the trick here, too.

First type ipconfig /displaydns, being sure to leave a space between the 'ipconfig' command and the slash. This will display a record of frequently visited or recently visited sites. See if the problematic site is listed. Even if it isn't, next type ipconfig /flushdns, which does just what you'd expect and removes all listings. Now try accessing the troublesome site. You should be back in business.

Get the 411 on Ipconfig

Ipconfig has many more seemingly arcane parameters for advanced levels of troubleshooting, which, if you're fortunate, you'll never need. To bring up a quick listing of all Ipconfig parameters with skeletal descriptions of what each does, type ipconfig /? or ipconfig /help (again, be sure to leave a space after the 'ipconfig' command). 

The list of available parameters for Ipconfig is roughly twice the height of the window, so be sure to scroll up to see the first half or drag the window border downward to view the entire list at once.

To close the DOS window after you've finished entering commands, type exit at the command prompt. You can also click the X at the top right of the window.

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