For Wanadoo subscribers that discover that doesn't work…

The French ISP “Wanadoo” offers a Usenet news server, like all ISPs. Its name is… except that it isn't.

When you ask any DNS server to resolve the name, you get (at the moment) as IP address. (In fact, is an alias for, which resolves to that number). But that machine doesn't respond to the NNTP protocol.

What is going on is that the DNS server that Wanadoo offers to its ADSL subscribers resolves the name differently from other DNS servers in the world. The number it gives is (corresponding to And that machine does respond to NNTP.

Very confusing if you use a different DNS server, which may happen, e.g., if you are using Linux or have a local network.

In fact, if you ask what the IP number is of the DNS server that Wanadoo recommends to its subscribers (, it turns out that it, too, has a different address depending on who you ask: according to the rest of the world, according to Wanadoo.

Wanadoo relies on it that you use the DNS servers that it passes on when you connect to ADSL (i.e., and, either all the time, or at least once to resolve If you never use either of those, but use directly, or use a completely different DNS server, you'll never get to Wanadoo's NNTP server either.

Bert Bos
Created 13 November 2004