Why do large swaths of the Internet seem to vanish sometimes?

At the moment I can’t access any pages I try that end in .edu (I tried about a dozen at different schools), though the ones I’ve tried that end in .com (such as this one and many news sites) seem fine. This happens from time to time. What gives?

That doesn’t happen to me.

Sounds like maybe a DNS lookup issue. Who is your internet provider?

It’s a small local telephone company. I wouldn’t be surprised if their stuff was acting up.

More specifically, it’s Armstrong Telephone, of Butler PA.

Someone in Vietnam just complained about this in another thread, and, while we have not gotten down to the bottom of it, a workaround was to access the sites through Proton VPN.

You might try setting your DNS servers in your network properties to and Those are free public DNS servers operated by Google.

That could be a state-run firewall getting in their way. A VPN might be their best bet in that case.

I doubt that a local company in PA would be operating some sort of restrictive firewall.

I can access my university this morning.

They’ve all started working again for me.


This is the easy way out. You only have to make the change once and it will work forever. I always have them set as my DNS servers. In Australia ISP blocking of sites is common due to government demands, so I haven’t used any ISP’s DNS for years now.

ISP provided DNS is often quite flaky. It is also a regular issue in private company networks.

If you want to explore the world of Public DNS servers, here is a list. All the big names are there. Some provide useful filtering and privacy guarantees.

Actually, I’ve already had these set this way for years.

This happens to me occasionally. Often resetting my modem lets it connect to an updated DNS server and clears up the problem.

It’s a bit of an eye-roller. People who don’t partake wouldn’t even know anything is blocked, people who do just change their DNS and also don’t know what’s being blocked.

But while it keeps the suits out of our browsing habits, I’m all for it.