Comcast Suffers Major Midwest Outage

Another major outage hit Comcast customers, this time in the Midwest. Like the outage that occurred exactly a week ago on the East Coast, this one too started on a Sunday and involved their DNS servers being down.

The outage hit customers in Chicago, Northwest Indiana, and parts of Minnesota and Michigan. Cable and phone service was not affected.

Like last week, customers could circumvent the issue by switching their DNS server to a public one, like Google’s (If that makes you go “huh,” read here. )

Service was restored to most customers in the wee hours of early Monday morning.

Comcast told Consumerist that it wants customers to know that they are sorry for any inconvenience and that anyone who is still having problems they can likely resolve them by turning their modems on and off.

Comcast says Internet service restored [ChicagoBreakingNews] (Thanks to Todd!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. PSUSkier says:

    FYI, even if you weren’t affected, I personally think it’s a good idea to switch to the google DNS servers. You don’t get redirects to crappy searches if you type the address wrong.

    • JennQPublic says:

      THANK YOU!!!

      I’ve been wondering how to fix that forever. Couldn’t figure out why it was redirecting to Comcast’s ‘search’ nonsense. Duh! Thanks again. :-)

      • Jubei says:

        You can log into to Comacast’s “customer central” and turn the redirect off someplace. It’s been a while since I’ve done it, but it is there.

        • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

          I’ve turned that off 3 times and it still comes up.

        • meltingcube says:

          This same thing happens with Brighthouse. I turn it off every time yet it still re-enables it self. Finally started using other DNS servers and now there’s no more issues.

    • Thorzdad says:

      Comcast has “opt-out” servers that don’t do the helpful redirect. and

      • PSUSkier says:

        True, but in my experience I’ve found that the open DNS server (OpenDNS, Google DNS, etc.) are generally faster than the ISP run DNS service.

  2. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Tech Support — Now outsourcing to Lolcats.

  3. tedyc03 says:

    What, are they slowly rolling out an “upgrade” to their DNS servers that break things? Or do they just suck at keeping things running?

  4. dolemite says:

    I’m on the East Coast, and the DNS servers went down again Saturday night (I think it was around midnight). I’m not sure when they came back up, because I decided to go to bed.

  5. majortom1981 says:

    Wow PEople have not learned to use other dns servers yet? ISP dns servers are very slow. Use googles or opendns servers. Most pages will seem to load faster (atleast on the initial visit).

    • dolemite says:

      Any other benefits besides pages loading faster? (Like ping, lag in games or anything)?

      • Aphex242 says:

        All DNS servers do is turn a request like into an IP address. This, naturally, has nothing to do with ping times in online games.

        There is, however, a delay when you have to lookup a URL on a DNS server, and the crappier it is, the longer the delay. If it’s down, you never get there.

        So there are good reasons to do it, but it doesn’t have squat to do with your pings.

  6. scoosdad says:

    Does the tin-hat crowd have any concerns that by using their DNS, that Google not only knows your IP, but exactly what sites you’re browsing and how long you spend at each, and can add a lot of info about you to their database to what they already know? Sounds like a marketing department’s wet dream.

    Just a question, I’m not taking sides one way or the other.

    • JohnJ says:

      I wouldn’t want to use Big Brother Google’s DNS server.

      • Harry Manback says:

        Because using Comcast’s DNS server is so much better? They have access to the exact same information, and instead can use it for whatever nefarious purposes they want (such as flagging your account if you visit TPB and throttling your bandwidth for example). Pick your poison.

  7. TooManyHobbies says:

    Switch to OpenDNS – especially if you have kids and want to restrict access – they have free accounts that allow you to determine what kinds of sites (and specific sites if you wish) will be allowed. There are ways around it but if your kids know how to edit your hosts file, you’ve probably already lost that game.

  8. Blueskylaw says:

    I have Comcast because it comes free from my landlord and we have been out since Thursday. It is now Monday and I am typing from a McDonalds because I am self employed. Comcast is a monopoly here and my landlord has called them about 40 times in the past two years because of lost signals, outages, no phone etc. They don’t care and will continue not to care until there is competition in this field, until then they will continue to observe the Golden Rule: He who has the gold rules.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      I forgot to mention that I am in the North West corner of Connect-I-Cut and that a Comcast operator said the outage was “weather” related. Looking out the window on Thursday and Friday revealed chilly but beautiful sunshiney weather. No tornados, snow, hail, ice storms, sleet, flooding etc. Just more bullsh*t excuses from a monopolistic corporation.

    • PunditGuy says:

      Don’t rely on consumer-class services to meet business-class needs. If your Internet is necessary for your job, switch to something that has strict service level agreements.

  9. Total Casual says:

    Mmm mmm delicious deregulation! Taste the suck!

  10. Whtthfgg says:

    And the week Previous to Comcasts First outage, Charter had the same thing in 4 states in the midwest. Seriously…whats going on with DNS in the last three weeks

  11. JohnJ says:

    I was thrilled when my local telco started offering fiber-to-the-neighborhood/node internet service, so I didn’t have to deal with Comcast.

  12. PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

    The best part about this is that Comcast’s phone lines were down.

    Well, not completely down. When I called about 9pm EST, after you put in your phone number and it asks if you are calling about the switch to HD, it’d send you into a loop asking you to “please wait.” It would eventually tell you to call back or check the website. By 10:30pm, the message had changed to something mentioning technical difficulties and to call back later.

    I was super tired, but remembered that I had been playing with the DNS settings, trying to find a faster one (and had been meaning to try GRC’s new DNS Benchmark app) on one of my machines and it was working. Switched the others over to OpenDNS and voila.

    I was more mad at myself that I was still using Comcast’s DNS in the first place…

  13. partofme says:

    I got $50 that says Comcast won’t credit me the appropriate $2 for the outage that a good company like Netflix would do.

  14. macoan says:

    I like how they say Chicago – I live 4 hours south of Chicago in central Illinois – and it took me out also…. of course all Illinois is Chicago….

    And of course there was no way for me to know to change DNS server to anywhere else since I could not get online to find that information – call Comcast – just got message saying they are aware.

    Grrrr…. Hate Comcast – had Insight until Comcast bought them out… and where I live I have no other (cheap) choice.

  15. StevePierce says:

    Ben wrote: “anyone who is still having problems they can likely resolve them by turning their modems on and off.”

    While some problems can be solved by turning a device on and then off, it isn’t he preferred method.

    If you are trying to solve your Comcast DNS problem, try turning you modem off and then on. By leaving it on, you have at a 2% chance that it will improve your service over leaving it off.

    – Steve “not a Comcast Tech but I stayed at a Holiday Inn when I was 12” Pierce

  16. Blious says:

    Well, this calls for a fee increase obviously!

  17. cete-of-badgers says:

    My household was effected. We checked their comcastic Twitter page right away and they mentioned the DNS thing, so we changed it and were back up in less than 20 minutes. Holy crap, an actual use for Twitter!

  18. chaelyc says:

    Netflix screwed up some streaming for some people for part of an afternoon & all users were eligible for a credit. Comcast fucks up the entire midwest (in cities where the hold a monopoly, no less) for a whole evening & I doubt they’ll even mention it again after today.

    I wouldn’t really be upset by this at all if we weren’t already dealing with constant issues with their cable service.

  19. RickScarf says:

    I was down due to this in Indianapolis. Figured it was something with DNS, as sites slowly started to not be connectible. Google was the only site I could open for a little bit until that went down too. I didn’t know about the or other DNS options, good to know for future reference!

  20. Daniellethm says:

    I’m about an hour north of Chicago and it went down for me last night. Luckily it was back up before I woke up this morning.

    The sad thing is, I never wanted to have Comcast internet. The only other service in my area was ATT’s DSL and that was terrible, my husband and I couldn’t be online playing games at the same time. We had to switch to Comcast, where the service goes down unexpectedly, but at least we can both play WoW and stream Netflix on our Ps3 at the same time.