Today, we’re beginning to roll out something new to help high-speed Internet customers get where they want to go online even faster and easier than before. It’s called the Domain Helper service and we’re introducing it as a market trial in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
First a quick explanation of what a domain name server (DNS) is, and why you should care. Every Web site you visit has a unique number, or set of numbers, associated with it. These numbers, called IP addresses, aren’t easy for most people to remember, so DNS maps those numbers to the Web addresses you are familiar with. For example, if you were to type in http://188.8.131.52 into your browser you would be taken to Fancast. But thanks to the magic of DNS typing in fancast.com will take you to the same place, and it is much easier to remember.
Despite the fact that web addresses are easier to remember than their IP address counterparts, sometimes you mistype an address. Let’s say you type in http://www.comtcas.com (instead of http://www.comcast.com). Normally you then sit and wait for the Web browser to time out, then you receive an error message that the site does not exist, and then you have to retype the correct address.
With the Domain Helper service we are testing now, we will instead help direct your Web browser to an easy-to-use page with suggestions and links to get you back on track. We also provide a seamless search experience on this page, which is powered by Yahoo!, so you can find relevant search information, or simply perform another search.
We also understand that sometimes customers want to surf their own way, without the assistance of services like Domain Helper, so we offer an easy way to opt-out right on the Domain Helper search page. This is a feature we feel is a best practice and is a key part of a white paper we submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force, an open international community of experts concerned with the evolution, architecture and operation of the Internet, for comment and review.
We hope customers find this service to be helpful, so tell us what you think.
Update: Domain Helper has been rolled out nationally. More details here, and if you want to opt-out visit https://dns-opt-out.comcast.net (note that link will only work if you're on Comcast's network).