Less than one week after the Comcast DNS server issues led to an outage in the midwest for Comcast customers, RCN is experiencing the same type of outage in Chicago. As of 10:15AM this morning, all of a sudden all my devices lost internet connectivity. Just when I was getting some work done before the Bears game!
I called Tech Support and the phone system immediately notifies Chicago customers there is an outage so I just hung up. No sense in trying to get account credit for an outage that may only amount to a few dollars.
Instead, on my work laptop (Which is Windows 7), I switched to using OpenDNS and everything started working again.
To change your DNS Server Settings in Windows 7:
1. Open "Network and Sharing Center". Click Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center.
2. Click Network Adapter Settings in the left side of the window.
3. On your network connection, Right Click -> Properites
4. Click on Internet Protocol (v4). Click Properties button.
5. Click on DNS Server radio button and fill in the OpenDNS Server values. Primary Server: 18.104.22.168 and Alternative Server: 22.214.171.124. You can also switch to use the Google Public DNS Servers by setting Primary Server: 126.96.36.199 and Alternative Server: 188.8.131.52.
In the long run, I think I'll just wait till the DNS service is restored for my other devices instead of configuring my router or other mac devices to use OpenDNS. But, if your internet stops working and you have a connection to your ISP, its worth noting that you can try and change your DNS settings to use another DNS Server to restore service in a pinch.
For another great tutorial on how to do this aside from what I just showed, checkout: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/15037-dns-addressing-how-change-windows-7-a.html