Plusnet Outage Takes Down UK

Early Thursday morning, Plusnet DNS servers unexpectedly went unresponsive. Customers were unable to access the internet and resorted to using free or public DNS services.

Plusnet is an England based company serving Internet, VoIP, and Telephone services (much like America’s Comcast). The DNS outage did not affect connectivity to the internet, however customers were unable to resolve their DNS queries. Basically, DNS is like a phone book: it connects a phone number to a person, or an IP address to a website. When an ISP (Internet Service Provider) suffers a DNS outage, customers can send out what website they want to access however the DNS servers will be unable to respond.

In order to bypass the outage, users began using free or public DNS services. These services are easy to implement and allow users to externally host their DNS rather than just going through their service provider. Plusnet acknowledged the outage on Twitter saying:

and added that even their site for service status was down. Roughly seven hours later, just in time for the work day to begin, Plusnet tweeted:

It’s too soon to tell how much revenue or how costly the repairs will be for Plusnet, but this should serve as yet another warning to companies large or small: don’t rely on your ISP for reliable DNS, seek out the experts and use an outsourced managed DNS provider.