7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 13, 2006 12:12 PM by AndyO
Joe Young Level 1 (30 points)

My mac mini is finding web pages slowly. 5-10 seconds or more to find the pages and then it will load (instantly) most of it and pause a second of or two and load the rest. Downloads are fast. Within 100kbps of advertised speed (1.5 mb dsl). My upload is also fine at about 1.0 mbps. Any ideas? The ISP gave gave me a modem and said plug it in and it worked fine for a week or two. It's been really slow the last two days.

233mhz Blondi 10.3.7 256MB ram,1.42 Ghz mini 512MB, Mac OS X (10.3.7)
  • AndyO Level 6 (17,050 points)
    When web pages are slow to start loading, but load pages quickly once they've started, it's usually an issue with the DNS settings. DNS is Domain Name Service, and it's the process whereby the URL you type into your web browser, such as www.yahoo.com is turned into the string of numbers the internet actually uses to locate a web page. Thus when you click on a link or type an address, before your browser can start loading the page it has to send the address to the ISP's DNS servers, which then look up the address and return the correct IP number.

    This process usually happens pretty quickly, but not always.

    Check that the DNS server addresses you were given by the ISP are entered correctly into the DNS Servers box of the network preference pane. If none are listed, check the ISP's settings (often found on-line in their help and support pages, or in the documentation they supplied) and enter them manually. There will typically be 2 or 3 of them, given in the form of an IP address.
  • Boece Level 5 (6,245 points)
    I agree with Andy's analysis that the problem is with the DNS system -- which unfortunately is not something that the end user has much control over -- other than switching to different DNS servers.

    In many cases the DNS servers are being picked automatically by your ISP's DHCP server. Although even then you do have the option of setting them manually in your Network system preferences.

    My impression is that the DNS system is under heavy load and some specific DNS servers are under attack by hackers recently.

    Performance with my usual DNS server was awful yesterday and I changed it to a different one to get acceptable response. But the new one may be slow tomorrow. These things keep changing.

    If you are willing to wait, your problem may just clear by itself.
  • AndyO Level 6 (17,050 points)
    As a quick addendum, any DNS server address can be set in the network preference pane, not just those specified by the ISP. While it's true that one wouldn't expect to get particularly good response times from a DNS server in another part of the world, a good experiment is to google for DNS server addresses, and select a handful to try.
  • Joe Young Level 1 (30 points)
    Thanks Guys. All fixed (I think) I was using an old "location" from Cable and Being I switched to dsl, There were some weird DNS addresses in there. Got the right ones from my isp and it's perfect now.
  • AndyO Level 6 (17,050 points)
    Excellent, thanks for reporting back!
  • Joe Young Level 1 (30 points)
    That's two problems you fixed for me in less than two weeks andy. Thanks a Bunch!
  • AndyO Level 6 (17,050 points)
    You're most welcome sir!