I am having issues using my Windows Phone on any wifi network, because for some reason DNS lookup doesn't seem to be working. I discovered it first when I was for holiday in Germany last week and suspected the wireless network of my accomodation to be the cause. However, a Windows netbook and Android phone connected fine.

Later, in Luxemburg when connected to an eduroam network and free network from the MacDonalds, DNS also failed. Now I am at my own country but I have used all my data of my cellular subscription so I have disabled my data connection but I am still having the same issues.

The following symptoms occur:

  • No connection via DNS names like 'google.nl' but accessing websites via IP address works fine
  • Phone is actually accessible via network and pingable
  • Marketplace and other applications also fail due to mentioned DNS issue
  • Whatsapp push looks like to continue to function
  • Recently visited sites properly open, probably due to DNS caching
  • Rebooting doesn't help, but only clears out the DNS cache

Unfortunately when searching for this issue on the internet, I can't find similar results. What is the proper solution to this? It seems my phone doesn't use the DNS server appointed by DHCP but tries to use the cellular provider DNS server?

I have a Nokia Lumia 800 with Windows Phone Tango.

  • On the Netbook or Android did you get redirected to a page (or Android notification) asking you to sign-in or accept the terms of service? It sounds like your phone is not getting redirected to such a page.
    – row1
    Oct 29 '12 at 3:14
  • No, that is not the case. It happens any wireless network but it seems not to happen on my home wifi network.
    – Sebazzz
    Nov 10 '12 at 19:35
  • 1
    I do this all the time at home (shut off cellular data or phone entirely then connect to wifi). No issues. HTC8X.
    – Joe Healy
    Jan 9 '13 at 0:39
  • Have you performed any firmware updates on the phone prior to seeing this happen?
    – karancan
    Mar 30 '13 at 19:12
  • Not what I can remember.
    – Sebazzz
    Apr 1 '13 at 12:03

Install a tool like Net Swiss Knife, that allows you to ask a specific DNS server. Then ask for example.net and set your broadband/wifi router as your local DNS server (you can find out the IP address on your Windows PC by typing ipconfig /all in the commandline and looking for the DNS server entry).

If you don't get a DNS answer from it, something may block the DNS queries from your Phone. In this case, I would a traffic optimization app that tries to redirect all DNS queries to its counterpart over the cellular network. Didn't see this on Windows Phone yet, but such things happened in the early days of iDevices and Androids.

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