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typing in a bogus url causes browser to perform Google search?

     
9:07 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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My computer recently stopped showing me the standard error message when I attempt to reach a site that doesn't exist, it now redirects me to a Google search (in both firefox and IE).

To test it further I tried visiting "www. this isn't a real web search .com" with spaces and all and I end up on Google with search results for that entire phrase, with quotes.

I am not logged into Google, how is this happening? More importantly how can I stop it?
9:17 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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note: I do not have a preferred browser set, never have. typing in about:config and visiting keyword.URL shows that the url is indeed blank and keyword.enabled is set to false... but yet typing a keyword as url leads me to Google instead of an error page (which is what I want, and had)
10:57 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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On Firefox you can disable this "feature" by

typing "about:config" into the location bar and set

browser.fixup.alternate.enabled
and
keyword.enabled

to false

EDIT: Woops, just read in your second post you already did that...

Then I don't know..
11:57 am on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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it's possible your ISP is intercepting NXDOMAIN responses from your browser's DNS checks and sending the request to their own servers.
they may even believe they are doing you a favor.
5:45 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

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(in both firefox and IE).


Phranque has it exactly right -ISP's are monetizing user typos by hosting their own searches, or partnering with larger search engines. Happens all the time on our ISP. Since your request goes over their bandwidth, I'm not sure anything short of a class action suit would stop it. I'm sure there's some lawyerly loophole someone would find that could tie it into invasion of privacy.
10:23 am on Feb 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Your ISP may have a switch for the customers to turn that off. You could ask them if you can change it.
5:56 pm on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Or, you could select and configure for Domain Name Servers of your choice.

Jonesy
 

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