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How would I go about tracking this issue down?

One of my websites has been up for years without issue. We're using Godaddy's nameservers for our domain.

Lately in the past two weeks, I've noticed that once from home on my Cox cable connection, I could not connect to the site... it said the domain could not be resolved. I checked downforeveryoneorjustme.com, and it said it was fine. The "outage" lasted maybe five minutes (through a reboot too, and I'm on a mac FWIW) and then it started working again.

Then it happened again this week, but from our office on a different Cox connection. Then it happened again from the office, but for a different domain. I called Cox during one outage, and the tech there could resolve the domain without a problem.

When these outages are occurring, I can issue "host mydomain.com" and get "domain not found", but using "host mydomain.com 8.8.8.8" will resolve normally.

Where do I start? We're getting reports now that our customers are experiencing it too.

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It sounds like a Cox problem, but this site may help you see how your domain resolves around the world: whatsmydns.net –  paulmorriss Oct 6 '11 at 16:02
    
Could be the effects of Godaddy's controversial DNS blackout policy that they're using to push their premium DNS service. If the problem persists, I would suggest switching webhosts to use a different DNS service. –  Lèse majesté Dec 18 '11 at 3:23
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2 Answers

Another thing to check is to make sure that all the DNS nameservers are reporting the same information. This is especially useful if you have setup any sort of CName or A Name records for the URL you are using. A useful tool to verify this is the DNS Traversal tool by DNSstuff. It shows what each nameserver reports and if there are any discrepancies between them.

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According to your debugging information, this issue seems to be related to your network configuration and has nothing to do with GoDaddy or your website DNS.

You confirmed it yourself. The fact that the following test was successful

$ host mydomain.com 8.8.8.8

means this is a problem on your side. The shell command above tries to resolve the host mydomain.com using the specified resolver, instead your local one. In this case, 8.8.8.8 is Google Public DNS resolver.

For the same reason, downforeveryoneorjustme.com reported that the site was working fine.

I guess your current internet provider is having some network issue and it's likely that your customers experiencing the same issue are using the same internet provider.

I encourage you to ask your customers which internet provider they used when they noticed the issue and check whether it's equal to yours.

To solve the issue on your side, you can use a different resolver like you did for the test. You can use Google Public DNS, OpenDNS or any other DNS resolver.

Unfortunately, if this is confirmed to be the issue, there's nothing you can do on you customer's side except suggesting them to do the same.

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That's not necessarily true. Google "godaddy selective dns blackouts" and you'll find info on some disturbing practices Godaddy has put into effect. They're allowed to get away with this because they're so much larger than any other domain registrar and web host out there, but it does set a dangerous precident similar to the practice of ISPs overselling their networks and using bandwidth throttling to compensate rather than simply ramping up their capacity. –  Lèse majesté Dec 18 '11 at 3:31
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