Not All DNS Providers Are Created Equal

OpenDNS is one of the few revolutionary ideas to come out of a venture in along time that actually aims to fix a problem while being profitable at the same time. The service wants to replace the ISP provided DNS servers which have the job of resolving an IP addresses like to Why would I want to reinvent the wheel?, well some ISP’s for example Qwest tends to overload their own DNS which in turn make websites like load at a slower rate. Instead of maintaining different services for public use OpenDNS can focus on providing the best DNS available.

Home user and businesses can make use of OpenDNS to prevent being tricked in to using a fake e commerce or banking sites, also web browsing can re restricted thanks to the filtering capabilities provided by category. OpenDNS offers this kind of protection at no cost. Your router or home computer can be configured with no knowledge of how DNS works. Even if your ISP DNS has no issues when it comes to speed you might want to give the service a try.

OpenDNS corrections
Some times we make the mistake of typing a URL with either a missing character or the character next to it, OpenDNS can sometimes correct that mistake and direct you to right address. However keep in mind the protection is not bullet proof and only top level domains name are corrected.

Safer browsing
The team in charge of OpenDNS decided to implemented anti-phishing in to every address they resolve to. When you try to visit a phishing site you will be redirected to a OpenDNS page warning you of the threat. The list used to judge if a site is involved in phishing activities is provided by PhishTank. Adult category filtering is provided by St. Bernard Software. Keep in mind that it’s normal to use third party listing services and OpenDNS is not responsible for what sites get listed.

Lower response time
Faster service is a somewhat debated feature and also the most heavily marketed one by OpenDNS. Whenever you make a request for a site OpenDNS will respond with the closest DNS server. DNS servers in general have large cache meaning they can store a large number of name resolutions instead of having to query the root name servers. Also the OpenDNS server might have a lower load making them respond to requests faster. For a fact I know that my ISP (Qwest Communications) who holds a monopoly in my service area tends to respond really slow to DNS request.

The name OpenDNS has nothing to with open source but instead (I believe) with the fact that configurable and free access to better DNS is available to the masses. No features are forced on the users and the option to disable or enable features that you find relevant are given. I personally use OpenDNS on my home router a WRT54GL with the Tomato firmware with makes accommodations for OpenDNS integration, I don’t use the service just because it’s faster but because of the phishing protection which gives me some comfort. Hopefully you will find OpenDNS not only good for faster DNS resolving but also for handling inappropriate content or prevent becoming a victim of phishing. Think about the advantages of using such service versus what you might be loosing. Use OpenDNS while sober please.