Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Bug sees TalkTalk broadband users blocked from popular websites

A bug in TalkTalk's Domain Name System (DNS) appears to be leaving customers of the broadband provider unable to access many popular websites, including Wordpress and Imgur.

According to ISPReview.co.uk, the issue emerged over the weekend and was acknowledged by TalkTalk on Sunday morning, though as of today (October 23rd), customers were still reporting difficulties.

In a statement on its service status page, the internet provider said: "We're aware that some customers are unable to access the imgur.com website and some WordPress sites. We’d like to apologise for the inconvenience caused and assure you our engineers are investigating this issue."

DNS is an essential part of the web's infrastructure, and is responsible for turning a website's IP address into human-readable domain names and vice-versa. When a user types a web address into their browser, the DNS server converts this into the site's IP address, which is actually used to connect the user with the website.

Without this, there is no way for a user's browser to reach the site, so it appears as unavailable.

TalkTalk support agents have been advising customers to try using a free alternative DNS service such as Google Public DNS or OpenDNS instead, though many affected users have reported this does not solve the problem.

So far, ISPReview.co.uk noted the only practical solution has been to use a VPN service, which bypasses TalkTalk's filtering systems altogether.

TalkTalk is far from the first broadband provider to suffer from bugs in its DNS servers that have left users unable to access content, with Vodafone also experiencing long-running issues with connecting to Imgur.

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