Monday, July 10, 2006

OpenDNS


OpenDNS is a company that provides DNS resolving for networks or individual computers.  They offer some interesting features:


  1. Phishing protection - Will display a warning page when attempting to view a known phishing site.

  2. Increased speed for browsing - OpenDNS has a large DNS cache to speed host name lookups.  In addition to this their DNS servers are located near the computer making the DNS request.

  3. Fixing spelling mistakes - OpenDNS will help with common spelling domain name spelling mistakes


I am going to try this out on our network at home.  Unfortunately this really does not work for me on my laptop, and I think that they need to call the following situation out more clearly.




In their faq, they mention:


Will your services interfere with any of the websites I use or other services?


No. DNS is completely compatible with all different Internet uses, such as web, email or FTP. The OpenDNS phishing protection works regardless of your operating system and browser and complements any other security measures you use, like a firewall or anti-virus software.


This is only true for host names that resolve to the same ip address for everyone.  For companies that have internal dns servers that allow host names to resolve to internal ip address, a computer configured for OpenDNS will not be able to access those machines (by hostname).  The same is true for ISPs.  Often ISPs have DNS servers that will resolve a host name to a different ip address when accessed from within their network than when accessed from the public network.  These will not work either.


I generally use DHCP to receive both my ip address and the name servers.  This make if very easy as I move between different networks.  Obvously, I can create a network profile that gets ip address through DHCP, but uses the hardcoded DNS servers, but I will still have to rememeber to switch this when using a network that requires a specific DNS server.


[via Geek News Central]


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