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My office has incredibly unreliable DSL service, but the odd thing is that the connection is fairly reliable, it's just that the ISP's DNS server is spotty.

We're running W2k8 and our own internal DNS server on it, but lately I'm starting to think I may have misconfigured it. Names resolve correctly if they are on the internal LAN, but the last time the ISP's DNS went down, external names were still not resolving.

At the time I did not have any forwarding configured; I assumed the server would automatically query the gateway if it did not have the IP cached, so I configured as a backup DNS on the highest-level router. Now I've learned that I should have set up conditional forwarding all along on the server, so I did that and removed the entry from the router itself.

So, my question- I set up a conditional forwarding entry for domain "" and listed Google DNS, Verizon DNS, and OpenDNS as master servers, but judging by the tutorials for doing this I'm questioning whether I set it up right. "" isn't really a domain but what I'm trying to accomplish is to have one of those three services queried for all external name resolutions.

How would you configure W2K8 differently to achieve these ends?


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You don't want conditional forwarding, you want to set up "forwarders" or use "root hints."

Conditional forwarding will forward queries for a specific domain on to a different DNS server. In essence you are, at this moment, maintaining a zone that looks for any queries to a domain named, and if it's queried your DNS server will send requests off to another server (in your case, Google, Verizon, and OpenDNS).

Regular forwarders are upstream DNS servers that your DNS server will send all DNS queries to (with the exception of domains listed in the Conditional Forwarders section).

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Root hints is an option whereby all queries are sent to a list of the Internet's main DNS servers.

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