How to stop

Filed under: Web/Tech | 2 Comments

A while back Brighthouse (who markets their cable modem service under the Road Runner brand) decided to drum up some revenue by redirecting unresolved DNS requests to a search results page loaded with a bunch of ads. This means if you make a typo instead of an error you get a search page that looks like a lot of the scammy domain parking pages that fuel the domain squatting industry. The search results are powered by Yahoo, which these days means Bing. The PPC ads take up most of the focus area of the page and are disguised to look like organic search results. tl;dr scammy

There’s supposed to be a way to opt-out, but at some point in time it broke. I had opted out a while back, so was surprised to see this page again. I checked the setting and sure enough I was still opted out. It’s pretty dick to hijack DNS resolving and then lie about opting out your users who have gone out of their way to do so.

Getting rid of it for real is simple, stop using your ISP for DNS. If Brighthouse or Time Warner can’t be trusted to honor their own opt-out preferences, don’t bother giving them the chance. I switched to Google’s Public DNS as it’s fast and completely ad-free like DNS should be. OpenDNS is popular, but by default does a similar redirect (though they honor your opt-out).

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2 Responses to “How to stop”

  1. Gary Hvizdak says:

    Thank you for this. I recall chewing out Bright House when I first noticed this and I may have opted out at that time. What a pleasure it is to no longer get hijacked when I make a typo. :>)

  2. Glenn says:

    On 27 Aug 2016 Cisco acquired Open DNS. According to my research, Cisco seems to cooperate with governments by backdooring its routers. So, I would try to find another Open Domain Name Server. I wonder if Apple has one?

    So for now I will likely go to Google til I can find better.

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