Comcastic: Cable Internet users seem plumb out of luck tonight

UPDATE, 11:15 p.m.: People beginning to report their Comcast Internet service is back up.

Twitter's currently lighting up like a working Internet modem with reports from all over of Comcast Internet outages. Bonnie Sashin reports from Brookline that when she called the Comcast customer-service number, she got a recording telling her to go online for service, which, um, hey, Comcast, maybe you're not getting the idea?

It's some sort of screwup with Comcast's DNS servers (basically, the directories the network uses to figure out how to connect you to or or whatever) - and is affecting the East Coast at least as far south as Virginia. The more technically minded out there suggest that if you know how to change your DNS settings, change them to and (Google) or and (OpenDNS).

Directions for switching your DNS to Google.



    Free tagging: 


    I live in Belmont now for many reasons..

    By on

    chief among them is FIOS. I swear I will never go back to Comcast, their horrible customer service and their bandwidth letters for the world. F Comcast and I feel sorry for people like my Dad, who has no choice about his ISP where he lives, and he pays for high speed internet, but only gets speeds of 5-700k. Comcast tells him it's the development he lives in and he needs to get them to fix the lines.

    Re: Comcast

    I'm basically held hostage by Comcast. Nothing I can do about it really- except move and I'm not doing that anytime soon. I would get an alternative just to try it- but can't even do the dish because my building won't get one.

    Interesting. I'm in upstate

    By on

    Interesting. I'm in upstate New York and I thought it was just our household interwebz which was down

    Their DNS servers are down

    If you're an unlucky Comcast customer and are still able to read this, you can work around the problem by temporarily changing your DNS settings to use something such as or (Google's public DNS resolvers).


    I was having issues, my son emerges as we are rebooting the modems to tell us "the net is down" (as if the sky were falling ...), and we were trying to figure it all out.

    I got the modems back up just long enough to get this page. THANK YOU! By the time it burped again, we were back in business!

    Many thanks to the posters of

    By on

    Many thanks to the posters of this thread. I found this page via blackberry, and lo and behold, the use of the OpenDNS addresses worked like a charm! I am still appalled that Comcast's customer support line is basically on auto-disconnect through this fiasco. I too received the recorded message to visit them online.

    Thank you again!!


    By on

    I was able to log onto UH with my Blackberry and using the info above, change the DNS (which I had no idea about) on my desktop and get back on after over an hour off. Thanks!

    Comcast DNS outage

    By on

    This must be a widespread problem. I'm in central Virginia, and my internet was out as well. Switching to Google DNS solved it. Thanks for the tip! Found you on my Iphone while I was on hold with Comcast customer service.

    Best part is that Comcast hasn't put up any notification on their homepage, and their 'network outage' and 'dns server availability' pages both say there are no problems. But they know that something is wrong, because they inserted a message into the on-hold muzak saying, 'We know there is a problem, and we are working on it.'

    Comcast outage

    By on

    Thanks to who ever came up with the fix and thanks to all that shared it. worked like a charm!


    Seems to be running smoothly now- but good to know what to do for the future.

    I haven't used Comcast's DNS

    By on

    I haven't used Comcast's DNS since I got Comcast service in the first place. I've always used MIT's as they are publicly usable.

    The few times I've had something configured to use Comcast's (usually for some new installation or piece of equipment), I've noticed how painfully slow it is during normal situations. Totally useless.

    MIT dns

    By on

    Are you able to share MIT's DNS servers....I'd be happy to make the switch.


    By on

    Thanks for posting this! Changing the DNS servers to Google's worked fine on my Mac and now we're back in business again for the upcoming Cyber Monday!

    Hey, I guessed it.

    After coming home from dinner, I was able to check my email via wifi at my girlfriend's, but immediately afterward, nothing. She had no access either. I wondered aloud if it was DNS problems again. When I got home, I initially had some difficulty getting online, but after 30 seconds, it was OK. I had switched to OpenDNS a while ago -- after the LAST time Comcast had the same problem. For more on OpenDNS (which has more benefits than just getting off Comcast's DNSs) see:

    Now this is what I call Comcraptastic

    By on

    in Brookline I'm only getting a power light and a lonely link light to my router. The really crazy part is that when I went to contact Comcast on the live chat they had almost 200 people in queue! After about 30 min I'm now 88.. Really very sad that my verizon smart phone is a much more reliable data pipe than Comcast. So this should once again bring up the age old questions is what do we need to do to get verizon in here and wire us up with FIOS?

    I'm surprised . . .

    . . . Comcast just hasn't put on a general service message when you go into their "high speed cable" helpline portion that says "Your area is experiencing an outage and technicians are doing everything they can to resolve the situation. Thank your for you blah blah."

    That's usually what I get when the outage is long enough to make me call.

    Soon, you won't have to worry about FiOS

    By on

    If Clear really does achieve 100% coverage of the area with its 4G service (the thing that Sprint is advertising with those ads that are just like the old Apple PC/Mac ads, only not funny), we won't need FiOS, at least not for Internet service (when they launched a couple months back, their service map had a lot of blank spaces, including a good chunk of Boston south of the Fens). It's being marketed mainly as a mobile service, but Clear does have an adapter thingee for home use, too.

    For that matter, Verizon's version of 4G, which they're testing right now, could also give us an alternative to the FiOS that we'll never see in Boston in our lifetime (or maybe Tom Menino's lifetime).


    I could buy an adapter at like Best Buy or something for this Clear 4G service? They don't have full 4G for the area yet though?

    I'd try any alternative- I wonder if it would be cheaper as well?

    When they enter the Boston

    By on

    When they enter the Boston market, you can sign up with Clear like you would with comcast or verizon. You purchase or rent a dongle thingy that gives you access to their network. Speeds average around 6mbps, with peaks of around 10mbps. Not as good as FIOS, but on par with Comcast. And with competition, hopefully everyone gets cheaper prices.

    They're here

    Coverage looks good, at least here in town. And cheaper than Comcast Internet, yes.

    Edited to add: The Clear/Clearwire reviews at are mixed, suggesting caution.

    Yah because DSL NEVER goes out

    Not sure...I have comcast and my service was only interrupted for a couple mins.

    If I did get frequent outages (somehow I"ve been spared for the most part so far) I'd consider FIOS but I've heard just as many horror stories about Verizon as Comcast.

    In the 5 plus years I've had DSL...

    ...I've only had one persistent problem, and that was due to a failing rack mounted modem at the Hyde Park switch.

    Otherwise, my rare DSL problems have been solved by power cycling the DSL modem/router sitting on my desk.

    Plus, Verizon doesn't mess with my BitTorrent streams, unlike Comcast.


    By on

    Thanks, guys. Need to find the router manual so I can change the DNS settings for the house... and the office.

    Small nitpick- unless there's a pun I missed, it's "plumb."

    I am using Firefox w/Ubuntu.

    By on

    I am using Firefox w/Ubuntu. The DNS fix worked great, except many websites gave double warnings that there was no security certificate. It was clearly the result of the DNS change, but it made me nervous. Does it help if you sign up as suggested in the Pogue article?