OpenDNS – case study in goodness

openDNS logo I've been trialling OpenDNS for the past week and I've been very impressed.

What do they do? They offer DNS servers which provide added value compared to the bog-standard ones your ISP provides.

They make three claims at the moment:

  • Safer
    OpenDNS block known phishing sites at the DNS level – thus their protection is operating system and software independent hence providing additional security on top of anything else you already have in place. Personally I'm not a big phishing site clicker but this is an excellent feature. If you have a fixed IP address you can turn this feature off.

  • Faster There's no doubt that slow and poorly configured DNS services create a slow Internet experience. openDNS does a bunch of things to make their service faster. I've noticed a slight boost but I expect more when they open up in London. (Currently they're in Seattle, Palo Alto, New York and Washington,DC with Chicago, London and Hong Kong all billed as coming soon).

  • Smarter Common spelling mistakes are corrected on the fly taking you to the correct website most of the time. This has have been useful to me numerous times this week already. If you have a fixed IP address you can turn this feature off – especially useful if you do some funky spam filtering using real time blacklists.

Plus this service is completely free and there's no lock-in or hassle. You can start or stop using it any time. They make money by showing some ads on a page if they can't find a server to send you to – such as if you type in a really badly mispelled address or a non-existent server name. Seems fair enough to me.

These guys deserve to succeed… It's a good idea well implemented and it's high time DNS got some upgrades.