Globe Internet Connection (DNS) problems

We switched from SmartBro to Globe WiMax wireless Internet service. In most respects we are having better luck with the Globe service, but we had one BIG problem. When we tried to connect to Internet addresses we would frequently get a message saying that our browser could not find or connect with the site. This problem sometimes even included major sites such as Facebook and the New York Times. The problem was extremely frustrating. Our problem connecting to our own blog server was major!

Globe WiMax Modem

 

Basically, Globe was using a DNS server that was not working for us. A DNS server is like an address book which helps your computer  find the site you want to connect with. Globe’s DNS server just did not seem able to find the sites we wanted to connect with.  We’re not very technically adept but we remembered reading a New York Times article about a DNS server called Open DNS. Here’s the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/technology/personaltech/19pogue.html

We ended up using Google’s Public DNS server.  http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/ Switching DNS servers involves changing networking settings in your control panel (Windows) or system preferences (Mac).  Google provides step-by-step instructions.  Switching to Google Public DNS seems to have completely resolved our problems with Globe Wimax.  While we had problems with SmartBro, DNS resolution was not one of them.

The Google Public DNS is fast and free.  There are a couple of other DNS options which have some pluses and possible negatives.  These two offer web filtering.  That is they will warn you or block access to sites which may be hosting malware or other objectionable content.

Norton DNS  ”ConnectSafe” provides DNS services just as Google DNS does but also checks the DNS address against the Norton SafeWeb database, supposedly warning you if you are attempting to access a dubious site.  It may also block sites you’d like to visit.   Norton DNS is also free.  See http://nortondns.com/

Open DNS offers a similar free DNS service with web filtering,  but may redirect you to a page containing sponsored links if it cannot resolve the DNS address you have requested.

Since we use Google Chrome as our browser and Google Chrome warns you when you surf to possibly dangerous sites, we have stayed with Google Public DNS.

Even after DNS problems are solved,  you still may have problems connecting to some sites in the U.S.  The internet addresses (IP addresses) of Globe and Smart are sometimes on “black lists” (http://whatismyipaddress.com/dnsbl-blacklist)  Some countries are considered problematic because lots of spam and/or nefarious activities come from them.  Examples include Nigeria, China, Russia and, unfortunately, sometimes the Philippines.    You can check to see if your I.P. address is blacklisted  HERE. My own Globe I.P address is blacklisted on several lists including Spamhaus.

Every day, myphilippinelife.com receives spam messages containing links to the spammer’s sites.  These are automatically detected and deleted.  We also get constant attempts to guess our username and password so as to log on to and take over our server.  We get very few legitimate users from China, but it’s likely that many of these hackers are in China — so we can see why owners of websites in the developed world find it easy to just block all traffic from problematic countries and I.P. addresses.  You may not realize that your I.P. is blocked.  You may just get a message saying that you could not connect to the site you requested.

Sometimes we cannot connect with important sites because of I.P. blocking.  In such cases we make a connection through the same virtual private network (VPN) account we use to view sites such as NetFlix and Hulu which are not available in the Philippines.  A VPN circumvents all kinds of I.P blocks, because once we are signed in through our VPN account, the sites see a California I.P. address, not Philippine a I.P. address.  We have described all this an another post on NetFlix and VPNs.

Therefore, sites that we can’t load sometimes magically appear when we log into our VPN.    One example is Google’s amazing new travel search engines. Google flights presents a graphic of the price of  all available options and all dates by price.  This allows you to easily choose the cheapest dates to fly without having to search each date on each airline.  Try logging on to http://www.google.com/flights/   Using my regular Globe connection I can’t acess the site but can do so as soon as we use our VPN connection.  Our VPN account costs us $55 per year.  StrongVPN is one of the cheapest VPN options, but it is not good if you are doing anything illegal such as downloading pirated software or movies.  While not a necessity for everyone, we find it well worth the money.

This is a bit of a geeky post, but we hope it will help others with the same problems we have experienced.

A telephone lineman working in Iloilo City. Any other questions about why your DSL service is lousy?

Comments (39) Write a comment

  1. Good Day!
    I have the same problem with Globe wimax i always experience no internet connection which made me stress every time i encounter this kind of problem. I was using smartbro with canopy before , but it was the same. I dunno what kind of internet should fit in our area. please do help,thank u and godbless!

    Reply

    • Sorry for your problems and wish I could help. There are really two options and you have tried them both, You can buy one of the pocket wi-fi devices from Smart and try that. Where we are, we have 4G so in theory the connection speed via the cellular network should be good, but in practice it’s not. However, it’s the only alternative I can think of, plus it works during power outages. Good luck.

      Bob Hammerslag

      Reply

  2. Configure your Globe devices. Dont use their default DNS server. Instead, use OpenDNS or Google DNS. You will find a significant speed after changing it. Also, try to clear you cache and browsing history as much as possible. Eliminate startup entries like torrent and app/game updaters which tend to open any ports automatically and consume 50-70% of your bandwith. Configure your AV to only update at a specific date and time so you would know when to not use or limit your Internet browsing activity. Lastly, enable QoS service on your router to make sure all devices connected on your LAN are being managed by the router and their bandwith are being utilized.

    Reply

  3. Guys, 1 month na akong walang trabaho dahil sa Globe. I was a SMART customer before and my VOIP works perfectly although the connection was too erratic that’s why I decided to switched to Globe because I was hoping that it would fix it. Unfortunately, I made a wrong decision switching to Globe. I subscribed to their 4G LTE connection which is good, Download Speed 13.45 Mbps, Upload speed 8.51 Mbps however my VOIP is not working. I tried calling Globe, but they said there’s nothing wrong from their end, I also called the VOIP provider and my account works using different ISP. I tried everything because I’m kind tech savvy, I disabled firewall, windows defender since I have windows 8. I also tried to configure settings of my modem/router but still not working. I was wondering guys maybe to can help me or suggest anything the will solve my issue. VOIP is very important to me to call clients in the US since I am a virtual assistant and I have American employer, this is the only source of income I have, and its been a month and a half that I haven’t been working. I have a daughter and she’s already going to school. I don’t know what to do. please help..I will appreciate it!! thanks

    Reply

    • It sounds like your problem is latency, not speed. Have you checked one of the on-line latency checkers such as http://www.voiptest.org/ I had OK speed with SmartBro but lousy latency, so bad I could not use VOIP at all. My Globe WiMax is no faster than the SmartBro but the latency is lower and so it works OK with VOIP. Good luck.

      Reply

  4. thank you… akala ko ako lang ung may ganitong problema… itinawag ko na to sa globe and wala naman daw ung problema sa kanila…. haaay…

    Reply

  5. Thank u very much for sharing what you know. I was at the end of my wits due to some sites not loading (including mine). It was an off-and-on situation. I tried ur suggestion about using google public dns and it seems to work!
    :)

    Reply

  6. Thank you so much! I’m getting frustrated with this constant issue. You’ve been a great help!

    Reply

  7. Having the exact same problem, we got wimax 11/6, switching from DSL due to our location. I use Strong VPN and notice i can access some sights, but sometimes the DNS issue will not allow me to access the VPN for sign in. I still have an issue with my VOIP, wondering if there is something else I can do to correct it? If i use my VOIP on 3g, it is flawless. I get good signal from Wimax, so I dont know what the issue is

    Reply

    • George,

      I’m really in over my head here, but here are a couple of thoughts. First of all wireless internet connections like WiMax generally have more latency than wired connections (for latency see http://www.phonescoop.com/glossary/term.php?gid=231). You can test this on pingtest.net. I had to give up on SmartBro wireless because because the latency was so bad, (ping 476ms) I could not use VOIP at all. It’s much better on Globe WiMax (ping of 102ms) so VOIP works OK. I read that 75ms as the acceptable latency for VOIP. 100ms is usable, but obviously VOIP-ish.

      Just because my WiMax connection is OK does not really mean that Wimax service from another tower is going to be equally good. There are so many variables, including the number of customers on the tower, distance to tower etc.

      Regarding connecting to Stong VPN, I NEVER have a problem. I do recall that when I first signed up and had some problems. After they switched me to the L2TP protocol I never had a problem. Another thought is that your StrongVPN server might be overloaded. You could switch to another server and see if that helps.

      Hope something here can help.

      Bob

      Reply

  8. i have been involved with internet speed and related problems with wi fi satalite dsl cable broadband and fibre optics for more than 20 years now. if anyone has concerns or issues to discuss feel free to contact me regarding you concerns c_zawel@yahoo.com

    Reply

  9. Thanks Bob for sharing and running such a detailed site – a rich resource for sure!

    My frustrating hunt for reliable and high, sustained speeds has now begun.
    PLDT has an office, literally less than 100m from the edge of the subdivision here (Metro), yet does not offer wired service – what the frick?

    …. Globe’s (wireless) Tattoo that claims speeds up to 3.6Mbps has been disappointing for two reasons – speed and DNS. To be fair, there was massive flooding in Manila this week (getting to/from the Smashing Pumpkins gig was an adventure), but since the rains there has been no improvement. They tout “120 surfing hours in 5 days”, however nowhere on the box does it mention any caveats such as “fair use” or limits. Yesterday those – to quote Hunter S. Thompson “rat bastards” – cut off my service before dinner time, after just 652MBs of downloading webpages, etc.

    So it is 1pm on a semi-cloudy Monday and i’m getting an up of 410kbps and 350 down. Which brings me to Globe’s joke – their own stats multiple real speeds by 10 (imho/experience) for example they show 995kbps download speed but actually are downloading at 95kps!

    So next i will try Wi-tribe, as i’ve heard good things about them from a Kano neighbor – the skinny on that service as far as i can make out, is that it may take a few attempts but they have much better customer service and even came to his place to set it up for him, by appointment …. your milage may vary.

    and the adventure continues .. be well

    Reply

    • Steve,

      Welcome to Philippine ISPs! I think the “fair use” limits apply to wireless connections, not wired such as DSL. I ran afoul of Globe’s limit and got cut off. Now I am much more careful. I have many gigabytes of data I want to upload to my SkyDrive but I have to follow a careful daily upload diet. Today I uploaded a 700MB folder to SkyDrive and am living in fear! Your connection is a bit slower than mine, probably because there’s a lot more users on the tower you’re using.

      Good luck and keep us posted on your internet adventures.

      Bob

      Reply

  10. Thanks for this wonderful post..This addressed my slow internet connection with GLOBE wimax . I picked norton DNS since that is my antivirus software but let me ask if using google free DNS is really fast? My uploading speed was from 0.50kpbs and now its ranging from 1.68mbps to 2.04mbps. Can you also share a thought on how to connect a wireless router to globe wimax modem? I tried to hook up my cisco router to my Globe Modem but its not producing an IP address but wireless devices in my house recognize the network, maybe you can share some sites or tricks to modify my globe modem? I have found some blogs on how to do it but it didn’t work out for me because they might be referring to an “old Globe modem” and not the one posted in your site. Thanks in advance, again wonderful POST!

    Reply

    • Elvie,

      I am so jealous. I’d love to have such a speedy connection. I feel a problem DNS server (such as Globe) can slow or even stop the initial connection but does not affect the speed once a connection is established.

      I am no expert with wireless routers. We have used a Cisco Linksys and now am using an Asus. We ran a cat 5 cable (comes with router) from the LAN port on the Globe/Huawei BM622i to the WAN port (ASUS) or “internet” (Linksys) port on the wireless router. You have to run the router installation software to set the security and password. That’s about it. It “should” just work. If not, you can try resetting your router. If you Google your router model, you should get lots of information. Good luck!

      Bob

      Reply

  11. I’d like to ask if this still works? I have a globe wimax bm622i and I tried to follow the instructions here. It resulted to limited connectivity for me.

    Reply

    • Yes, Google DNS is definitely working. Sorry, you must have some other problem. Good luck.

      Reply

    • I opted for PLDT myDSL. It’s much stable since it’s wired. Thanks for you the info! You are helping a lot of non-techie people like me. Good luck with your site/blog.

      Reply

  12. David,

    Google DNS works fine for me with Globe WiMax. Perhaps there is some other problem with your connection or setup? Anyway, I know it is frustrating. Good luck.

    Bob

    Reply

  13. Hi, glad you were able to remedy this, Globe won’t take care of it.
    My experience with Globe was, even though they are quite aware of a problem, they probably won’t repair it. Globe only offers 1 MBPS download here via Canopy, so we had a standard DSL connection @ 3MBPS. Problem was: at dark every night the connection went down and did not return to daylight! Bizarre! We found that the locals had installed dozens of makeshift streetlights between our house & Globe’s “cabinet”. The streetlight installer has connected the ground wire to Globe’s supporting “messenger” cable that they attach the telephone trunk cable to. So at night when all these CFLs come on, it induces ElectroMagnetic Interference into Globe’s telephone cable overpowering the DSL “carrier”. Globe technicians and their contractors ignored this and tried for months to find alternative solutions. They finally, conceded that this was the problem and stated that they will not repair it. Then, I received a telephone call stating that I was being disconnected due to their inability to provide service! I find Globe to be overpriced, incredibly apathetic and unprofessional, with incompetent “technicians”. FYI, I also have an account with Comcast in Oregon 12MBPS download, 400+ TV channels and unlimited nationwide longdistance calling: $95.00 a month. I was paying nearly the same for Globe’s 3MBPS only.
    Sadly, I’ve gone back to Smart – “the lesser of two evils”!

    Reply

  14. Thank you so much Bob and Carol for the prompt reply, I appreciate the information that you’ve provided. Another thing is that I get this message at the bottom of the page every time I open a website (Google, Yahoo, etc)– “Error 101 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_RESET): The connection was reset.”

    I researched about it and the Google result states that it has something to do with malware in the computer, which crashes cache or internet related configuration, sort of. I followed some steps/solution provided by people who encountered this error but to no avail.

    I am confused if it is really a Wimax problem or problem with my PC. I reported it to Globe Customer Service 2 days ago and the agent told me that there engineers are trying to configure something in the network since March 5 and they could not provide a definite time frame when the configuration will be done. I even encountered this slow browsing problem since last week of Feb.

    I am at my wit’s end! I have a home-based job and rely badly on the internet. :(

    Anyways, thank you again Bob and Carol, I appreciate the help, thank you in advance should you have any info./solution to share. :)

    Reply

    • Reen,

      I really sympathize with you and wish I has a solution but I don’t think there is any except for Globe to fix their network. This is the error I get: Error 105 (net::ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED): Unable to resolve the server’s DNS address. That made me think there was a DNS problem but since I’m using Google DNS service that really seemed unlikely.

      At first I thought we had been throttled for using too much bandwidth in violation of Globe’s “fair use” rules. We had been watching a lot of streaming movies on Netflix. But, I found that when I could make a connection my download speeds were fine, about 100kps.

      Yesterday, I also called Globe and after some pointless diagnostics, they admitted that they do have a network problem. They said we’d receive a credit for the days without service. They did not predict when it would be fixed. They told me to just keep checking my connection.

      The only thing I can think of for you is to switch to SmartBro, possibly using one of those USB dongles. That will only work well if you are in a more urban area with 3G.

      Bob

      Reply

  15. Is there a connection problem with Globe Wimax? We are subscribed to Globe Wimax for more than a year now and we are experiencing a really really slow connection when browsing since last week of February 2012. We can open Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, Facebook fine but it will take time to load, this is not the case before where we can browse fast and easy. But now, even simple browsing in Google is pain in the ass. We are seeing error 101 after we opened Google website using Google Chrome browser, and any other site, too. Please help us find and fix the problem if you have any idea. Also, when we open a website, the icon to the left beside the website address shows that it’s not secure, like when we open Hotmail, it’s not showing HTTPS anymore. Please help. I really appreciate all your help and suggestion in this case. Thank you so much.

    Reply

    • Reen,

      We are having the same problem with Globe Wimax as you are. Up until recently we were quite happy with our WiMax service, but in the last couple of weeks it has deteriorated. It is not to much the speed of downloads but more the delays in connection to sites. It *seems* like a DNS lookup problem. We’ll do some experimentation and post the info if we have any success.

      Bob and Carol

      Reply

  16. Wonderful web site. I have a place in Biliran (Eastern Visayas). It’s very rural and very beautiful. Currently our only internet access is through the SmartBro. It is so slow and painful to use. I suspect the WiMax will not be much better in our area. I’ve been searching for a residential satellite solution without success. Do you have any suggestions?

    Reply

    • I have a friend who lived outside of Naval until health problems sent him back to the US. Everyone says it is very beautiful there. My friend had Parkinson’s and ended up having to go to Cebu City to get his medications and treatment and finally Biliran just did not work for him.

      Why don’t you give Globe WiMax a try. They offer a 30 day service guarantee so you can see if it’s better than SmartBro where you are. You may have to fight to get the warranty honored but it’s a Globe national policy. WiMax worked better for us but it’s entirely ht or miss as far as which is better. I don’t know of another affordable solution. Cheers Bob

      Reply

  17. When your website is opening I can see photos, but when you go to The Roof or cabinets or any other webpage I can not see any photos, I use Internet explorer 9 or firefox 4.01. Can anyone help?

    Reply

    • Kurt,

      You are not doing anything wrong. Our site was hacked and we had to
      take it down, clean it and rebuild it. Restoring the photos is one of
      the last steps. There are hundreds of photos. The photos are still
      there but the links to them are broken. We are trying to figure out
      how to automate the link repair and hope to have it done this week.

      Thanks for you patience.

      Bob and Carol

      Reply

  18. Wow, this solved it!

    I used to have problems connecting with sites as common as Wikipedia. Now they’re all gone.

    Reply

  19. I noticed the same issue with my globe wi-max.

    Bob

    Thanks again, you save my day, since it has been a crapy one for the iNTERNET.

    I did disable in my TC/IP configuration for the IPV6 selection.
    I kept the IPV4 configuration.

    I got the same modem from globe, It is a fix, non change able.

    It did improve my connection 100%

    My Vonage phone router is real nice with the changes I made to it.

    Reply

    • David,

      I’m so glad you were helped by the DNS post. It’s amazing that I could figure the problem out given as I’m a computer illiterate. Beginner’s luck I guess.

      Bob

      Reply

  20. Hi Bob!
    I’ve been reading your stuff/blog for quite a bit now and I like it. I can really picture out and relate to what you’re saying, WHY? I’m a full blooded filipino, from Iloilo(south) and livin in america. Thanks for sharing your experiences to us wherein helping us, your readers, to see, feel and thought about philippines. And learn from those things you shared inorder for us to prepare, and act accordingly without surprices. You’re like one of the ambassador of the Philippines(Iloilo).

    BTW, back to your topic. I heard that WIMAX speed is fast compare to normal internet provider and plus wireless so you can bring it with you camping or even in your car, like the bus in manila w/ wi-fi internet(they used WIMAX tech). So your on the right move Bob for changing provider. Or maybe you can take it w/ you in the beach, now you have two options, reading your kindle or surfing the internet. Good ha.

    Happy blogging, and btw I like your house plus your “bahay kubo”. Well done.

    Reply

    • psychRN,

      Thanks for your kind comments. Living here I can understand both the difficulties of surviving here and why so many Filipinos work overseas but also why they miss their home country so much. If you have a pension the Philippines can be paradise but without money a purgatory!

      There are different varieties of Globe WiMax. You’re thinking of the small dongle which plugs into a laptop’s USB port. Ours is the other variety meant for home use. It generally has an antenna mounted on the roof with a cable leading to a modem which has another cable which plugs into your computer — or in our case our Cisco wireless router. Those USB WiMax works well where there is 3G available but in low-tech places like Tigbauan they use GPRS which is painfully slow. With our WiMax we’re generally getting download speeds of about .75MB. We can live with that. I just made a call to the U.S. using Google Voice. Calls to the U.S. are free and the quality was quite good. Such a call would have been impossible with our SmartBro connection.

      Cheers

      Bob

      Reply

  21. Pingback: Internet Service in Tigbauan, Iloilo at goILOILO.com

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