Comcast DNS Hijacking

Last year Comcast turned on a rather controversial feature on their High-Speed Internet users known as “DNS Hijacking”. It was designed to be a feature: try and access “www.wallstreetjournal.com” and it’ll instead take you to a Comcast branded search portal and give you some simillar suggestions if the domain does not exist. Sounds great right? WRONG. I use Google Chrome and typing into the AwesomeBar up at the top will automatically search Google (or another provider if you wish) with your relevant query. But because Comcast interprets that query as a search amongst its stupid DNS Helper service first!! Check out this example results window below:

Results Page using Yahoo Search

Results Page using Yahoo Search

Here’s the most irritating thing of all: Last year, I opted out of the stupid thing . There was a handy link on the Accounts page that enabled you to wipe out their stupid service (You can get there too: http://dns-opt-out.comcast.net/. Now suddenly today I’ve been magically “opted” back in! Upon returning to the same Account Settings page from last year, the link to change DNS Helper settings is now gone.

Below this line sat an option to opt out...

Below this line sat an option to opt out...No longer.

In fact, their own opt-out link in the stupid results page doesn’t work.

GRRR….

Before the nerds pounce on me, yes I could be using OpenDNS or even Google’s DNS to try and straighten this out. However, I VPN into…”a company” a lot for work and “the company” won’t allow a non authoritative-DNS to query from. It sucks. I either have to flip my DNS settings back and forth when I sign in (not fun) or turn this stupid crap off at the source.

6 thoughts on “Comcast DNS Hijacking
scrapebox guy

My wife agrees with me, we think this is quite a insightful blog and a helpful resource. Cheers for writing, keep it up.

John

Simple solution, don’t use Comcast’s DNS servers. Manually configure your systems to use openDNS or Google’s DNS servers. I have avoided my ISP’s DNS servers for years as they are terribly over loaded and slow.

    Geek

    Yeah, that is an option and I often use Google’s DNS in local instances. My problem is this: the vast majority of Comcast’s users won’t know how to alter these settings now that they’ve removed this toggle from their control panel.

    My parents have no idea what’s happening when they type in Chrome’s URL bar and a Comcast branded search page shows up. Frustrating.

JL

You didn’t by chance just get a new cable modem did you?

    Geek

    Nope, no new cable modem and no changes in service for at least a year now. I’ve had the same modem for the last 3 years (Comcast lease).

Detreon Roberts

Hi there,

We’d be happy to look into this for you. Can you please send us an email with your details?

Best,

Detreon Roberts
[email protected]
Comcast Corporate Office

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