If you’ve recently become a Verizon customer, you may find that Verizon has hijacked your browser, so that every time you hit a page that’s not recognized by its DNS servers, you’re redirected to a ridiculous Verizon co-branded yahoo search page.
I guess they still think they need some kind of search presence to be a future-forward internet company – how very 1990s!
This is a wicked nuisance if you’re, say, working from home, and accessing a work server over a VPN. You literally can’t get there. No way, no how.
Verizon helpfully (heh) provides instructions that help you, by pointing your router to a different pair of their DNS servers that shouldn’t cause the hijacking. There’s a reason “shouldn’t” isn’t in plain text …
Tell your router to use public DNS servers, instead of Verizon’s servers.
The following instructions are for the specific router we have, but with a little sleuthing, you should be able to figure out the analogous steps if you have a different router. Your goal is to find and set the primary and secondary DNS servers for your router’s connection to the outside world.
1 – Open a new browser tab
2 – Enter http://192.168.1.1 in the address bar.
3 – Enter your router’s admin user name and password into the login screen (default user is usually admin, password is written on a sticker on the router. BTW – you should change your router’s admin user, following steps provided by Verizon, after you finish this).
4 – Click OK
5 – Click My Network
6 – Click Network Connections
7 – Click the Edit pencil icon for the “Broadband Connection”
If there’s more than one labeled “Broadband Connection,” choose the one with the word “connected” next to it.
(Note: do NOT edit “Network (Home/Office)” – that’s your router’s connection into your home network, leave it as-is).
8 – On the next page, click Settings at the bottom of the screen.
9 – In the page that opens, scroll down to the DNS Server fields.
10 – Choose “Use the following DNS Server Addresses” from the DNS Server dropdown.
11 – Change the DNS addresses to the following:
126.96.36.199 Primary DNS
188.8.131.52 Secondary DNS
(Note: these are google’s free public DNS servers, you can find and use others, or even host your own DNS servers, but these are readily available and don’t spam you with ads when you open a new tab)
12 – Click Apply, to close this page.
13 – Click Apply, to close the next page.
14 – Click Apply, to save your changes.
15 – Click Detect Broadband Connection to restart the router.
You probably don’t have to do this, but it can’t hurt. Once it restarts, you should be connected to Google’s public DNS servers.
Now your browser won’t be hijacked by Verizon if you hit a bad URL or try to access servers via VPN.
If you really have your heart set on having new browser tabs hijacked, you can always try ootsi.de. They’ve got a chrome extension, to ensure you get your weather in Scottish: IT’S A STOATIR!