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Author Topic: OpenDNS - safer, faster and smarter DNS  (Read 13313 times)
sri
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« on: September 19, 2006, 11:36:02 PM »


This is a nice free option to change your DNS servers to from the default ones provided by your ISP.

DNS, the Domain Name System, translates the human addresses of websites and servers (like wikipedia.org) to the numerical address used by computers (207.142.131.203).

Quote
Why is OpenDNS faster than other DNS services?

Two things make OpenDNS faster than similar services. First, OpenDNS runs a really big, smart cache, so every OpenDNS user benefits from the activities of the broader OpenDNS user base. Second, OpenDNS runs a high-performance network which is geographically distributed and serviced by several redundant connections. OpenDNS responds to your query from the nearest location. That means we're very fast (and extremely reliable, to boot).

Why is OpenDNS smarter?

We fix typos in the URLs you enter whenever we can. For example, if you're using OpenDNS craigslist.og will lead directly to craigslist.org.

How do I start using OpenDNS?

Change your DNS settings to the OpenDNS servers:

    * 208.67.222.222
    * 208.67.220.220

OpenDNS is free to use.

Here's a recent testimonial from our IRC channel:

Quote
[09:56] <Gothi[c]> srikat: thanks, openDNS seems to be working allooooot faster smiley


I've been using it ever since it came out and have had no problems so far. It works in the background and we hardly notice its usage.
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f0dder
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2006, 12:21:53 AM »

OpenDNS: a stupider DNS service.

1) decent ISPs already do caching (in fact, who don't?)

2) your ISP DNS is probably faster:
OpenDNS:
Reply from 208.67.222.222: bytes=32 time=108ms TTL=53
Reply from 208.67.220.220: bytes=32 time=107ms TTL=53
versus CyberCity Denmark:
Reply from 212.242.40.3: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=58
Reply from 212.242.40.51: bytes=32 time=15ms TTL=58

3) "fixing" misspelled URLs is just retarded, breaks applications that rely on getting a DNS error on bad URL, and is just an advertising scheme anyway. Besides, who controls what is a typo? Filtering in such a basic service as DNS is BAD.

Also, do check out this query and this query.

It's funny how every ISP that have done similar stuff has been flamed to death over it, while a "free service" doing it are embraced by some people...
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2006, 12:22:18 AM »

see previous discussion here: http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=4317.0
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Gothi[c]
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2006, 12:25:19 AM »

It was faster because my ISP is having serious DNS trouble today.

Their primary dns server went completely down, all their other dns servers are horribly slow, and the isp's main website went down.

It took about 10 seconds to resolve an ip with the ISP dns servers, 0.1 seconds with openDNS, in normal situations, the ISP servers are ALWAYS (On second thought, lets not forget that there is some evil sucky isp's out there that don't know what they are doing out there.) going to be better, no doubt. But it's deffinitly a good backup.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2006, 12:29:54 AM by Gothi[c] » Logged
sri
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2006, 01:15:20 AM »

I went thru the other forum thread now and agree w/ what housetier said.

http://www.donationcoder....ic=4317.msg30669#msg30669

While I haven't found any speed improvements, at the same time I didn't find it slowing down as well.
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nosh
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2008, 11:08:48 PM »

Just in case I'm not the last one to find this out, OpenDNS has been jacking all Google searches since the last several months.

Pinging Google with Opendns servers active gets :
Pinging google.navigation.opendns.com [208.67.219.230] with 32 bytes of data:

They claim they're just trying to fix what Google+Dell's spyware has broken. cheesy
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iphigenie
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2008, 02:36:52 AM »


Pinging google.navigation.opendns.com [208.67.219.230] with 32 bytes of data:


That's probably a good way to finance the service, jack URLS so they are linked to your affiliate deals.
Maybe it adds its affiliate code when you go to amazon and other places too, and frankly, why not - if you use them let them make money to cover the costs.

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nosh
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2008, 02:47:58 AM »

Fair enough - AFAIK they're already doing that with typo-squatting. Hi-jacking Google completely?... I dunno  undecided
I still use them (though only as a backup) so can't really complain.
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davidu
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2008, 12:40:32 PM »

That's probably a good way to finance the service, jack URLS so they are linked to your affiliate deals.
Maybe it adds its affiliate code when you go to amazon and other places too, and frankly, why not - if you use them let them make money to cover the costs.

We don't ever do that.  And if we decided to do it, we'd say we do it and be open about it.  We've never been otherwise.

Quote from: nosh
Just in case I'm not the last one to find this out, OpenDNS has been jacking all Google searches since the last several months.

That's not true -- it's a proxy.  Much like a corporate proxy; and it's used for certain kinds of traffic for people who choose to use opendns.  It still goes to Google and we have close contacts with Google who are well aware of and okay with what we're doing.  We didn't do that for a reason.  But it does make it easier for folks to come up with wild conspiracy theories.  Although typically people just assume we are Google (we aren't).

Furthermore...

We put the CNAME referral to google.navigation.opendns.com to be EXPLICITLY clear about what we're doing.  We could have just as easily put no reverse DNS in place, no referral record, or even just made the reverse dns match www.google.com and most of you would be none-the-wiser.

Happy to discuss...

-david
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Josh
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2008, 12:48:50 PM »

David: I assume you are associated with opendns?
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davidu
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2008, 12:51:06 PM »

David: I assume you are associated with opendns?

Founder, CEO, occasional janitor.  cheesy
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iphigenie
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2008, 12:54:10 PM »

it's not hijacking google, its just an affiliate thingie. and i think it's perfectly fine.

Some sites make their finance via amazon affiliates, others via search referrals

google for example is a major source of income for the mozilla/firefox projects, because they are set up as a partner and get a small amount of money for searches and adwords done from the default search in the browsers. Similarly opera seems to have a deal with yahoo etc. Many ISPs do too.

I was not suggesting they are doing anything sneaky, such as sneakily putting affiliate codes on ecommerce links - but as far as i am concerned they would be perfectly entitled to do so (if they said they did, ofc)

Whenever I make an amazon purchase i go to a site l like and use their affiliate link - and i would have no qualms if i used someone's DNS service if when I dont have an affiliate code in my amazon link they put theirs.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 12:56:01 PM by iphigenie » Logged
iphigenie
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2008, 12:58:57 PM »

Still, third party DNS services are a good thing

I used to have a DNS server in the basement, it was a backup for our web dev agency's DNS servers (2 in the office, 2 in founders homes etc.). BUt I also put a caching proxy dns for my own access. It's nice not to rely on the flaky DNS of the main ISPs (virgin/telewest in the uk are iffy for weeks at a time)

Right now I dont bother doing my own, not even for my own domains, too lazy. I guess I paid my dues - i no longer run my own email or dns, i just pay for a decent service somewhere.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2008, 01:16:47 PM »

Welcome to DC, david!!

We didn't do that for a reason.
I don't think i understand. You mean you give people a proxy address for google instead of google itself, but for no reason?

(notice that i'm not accusing you, i think you provide a great service and have used it when my isp's dns went down, i'm just wondering what your reasons for this would be).
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davidu
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2008, 01:56:05 PM »

Welcome to DC, david!!

We didn't do that for a reason.
I don't think i understand. You mean you give people a proxy address for google instead of google itself, but for no reason?

Sorry -- Perhaps I wasn't clear.  I meant that we deliberately show the "google.navigation.opendns.com" domain name to make it transparent that we're doing the proxying.  We didn't have to do that (make it obvious what we were doing).  We could have instead just made it say www.google.com and very few people would have ever noticed. 

Not sure if I was any clearer here.  My brain needs more caffeine. :-)  Thanks for the kind welcome.
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nosh
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2008, 02:17:13 PM »

Quote
and it's used for certain kinds of traffic for people who choose to use opendns.

Could you please elaborate on this or link to a source that does, David?

And since you're here, on a slightly different note - I believe you guys have options for people with accounts to block certain IPs marked unsafe. Is this blocking applied by default for people without accounts? Are certain IPs inaccessible while using OpenDNS that I may be able to access using my ISPs DNS? I'm asking this with regard to bittorrent activity and the effect OpenDNS may have on it. Thanks.
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davidu
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2008, 02:28:48 PM »

Quote
and it's used for certain kinds of traffic for people who choose to use opendns.

Could you please elaborate on this or link to a source that does, David?

http://blog.opendns.com/2...22/google-turns-the-page/


And since you're here, on a slightly different note - I believe you guys have options for people with accounts to block certain IPs marked unsafe. Is this blocking applied by default for people without accounts? Are certain IPs inaccessible while using OpenDNS that I may be able to access using my ISPs DNS? I'm asking this with regard to bittorrent activity and the effect OpenDNS may have on it. Thanks.

Just phishing is turned on by default.  Nothing else.  So that will let your bittorrent work flawlessly.  You can create an account and block all kinds of categories of sites and individual domains too.  We also let you fully whitelist sites as well, so even if it's a phishing site you can make an exception for it.  That's more common with certain adult sites than phishing sites, obviously. 

Our goal is to put the network administrator in control of their DNS.

Oh, just remembered, we also correct .cm to .com automatically.  You can create a (free) account and turn that off if you don't like it though.  Nobody does.  Real .cm domains continue to work just fine, only the ones which are wildcarded to a page full of ads get redirected.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2008, 03:38:07 PM »

Customisable blacklists?  tellme

Hmm, you mean I could make it as if all the World of Warcraft forums and information sites no longer exist?

 Thmbsup
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davidu
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2008, 03:41:16 PM »

Customisable blacklists?  tellme

Hmm, you mean I could make it as if all the World of Warcraft forums and information sites no longer exist?

 Thmbsup

Absolutely.  For everyone on your network. 
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Renegade
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2008, 04:22:24 PM »

Looks very interesting. I occasionally have DNS problems with my ISP and can't access sites without changing my HOSTS file.

Does anyone know how the ads are served or where they appear? I'd just like to know that. (From here --- How Can OpenDNS be Free?.)
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davidu
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2008, 04:57:31 PM »

Looks very interesting. I occasionally have DNS problems with my ISP and can't access sites without changing my HOSTS file.

Does anyone know how the ads are served or where they appear? I'd just like to know that. (From here --- How Can OpenDNS be Free?.)

You can see the full experience if you go to http://guide.opendns.com/ (or with an example: http://guide.opendns.com/?url=www.ulevitch.commo )

You get that when you visit a domain name that no longer exists or is severely broken.  Rather than the browser "host can not be found" page.

-david

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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2008, 09:16:18 PM »

David,

Thank your for OpenDNS. I use it on every computer where I can set the DNS server. smiley
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« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2008, 03:52:50 PM »

David: I assume you are associated with opendns?

Founder, CEO, occasional janitor.  cheesy
I love the fact that we can be having a discussion about almost anything and sometimes someone like David will chime in.   cheesy Welcome David, I hope you like the neighborhood.  I am a user of your service and have no complaints.   Thmbsup
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davidu
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« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2008, 03:56:25 PM »

I love the fact that we can be having a discussion about almost anything and sometimes someone like David will chime in.   cheesy Welcome David, I hope you like the neighborhood.  I am a user of your service and have no complaints.   Thmbsup

Thanks for the compliments. If I ever somehow miss something here you guys have questions on related to OpenDNS, you can email me first name at opendns dot com.
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f0dder
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« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2008, 06:10:33 PM »

Well, have to say I'm not too big a fan of OpenDNS because of the "typo-correction" stuff (I prefer non-resolving), and I'm not sure what to think about certain other parts of it... but it's very nice having an easy-to-setup alternative when ISPs fsck up (I have the OpenDNS IPs entered in my cellphone), and it's also very nice seeing software/service/whatever authors stepping by donationcoder Thmbsup
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