OpenDNS.com

May 24, 2007 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

I ran across this computer world article today about speeding up your internet connection for web browsing. Since I have been seeing sluggish browsing recently, this caught my attention.

The “big tip” in the article is to use the free DNS service offered by OpenDNS.com. The article does talk about increasing your DNS cache size in Windows also, but the big push seems to be toward this free DNS service.

The browsing problems I’ve been having recently looked to be either (maybe) DNS related or (more likely) packet loss related. The only tool I’ve used to take a look at the packet loss possibility didn’t back me up though, but I wanted to verify against other tools. I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.  Really.  I mean it.  Stop looking at me that way!

This article spurned me into action.  I quickly changed my router to perform DNS lookups against the OpenDNS.com DNS servers.

Wow.

I am utterly shocked with the difference. I suspected the DNS servers I used MIGHT be related to the problem. I think back to the time I switched ISPs after my service tanked with major packet loss and the old ISP wouldn’t (or couldn’t) fix it. Then, changing ISPs was like moving to broadband all over again.

This is really ALMOST like that! You know those annoying commercials for broadband Internet service that show websites popping up on the screens of computers at unreal speeds? Perhaps they made those very commercials using OpenDNS.com‘s DNS servers! It’s absolutely amazing.

Ok, ok, it’s really not that amazing. But, honestly it is very noticeable. Much more so than I would have thought.

They use geographically dispersed servers, and they seem to take about (cue Dr. Evil) 1 BILLION DNS queries a day, according to a stats page on their site. How do they pay for all this? When you try to go to a page that doesn’t exist, instead of getting a timeout, you are redirected to a yahoo search page, searching for the name you tried to reach. They get a cut of ad revenue on any ads your users click on. That’s it. Oh, and if you run your own company, you can even put your logo on this search page. How sweet is that?

In addition, they have phishing protection, typo correction, plus a few more features. All in all, I’m actually very impressed.

I highly recommend that you stop whatever you are doing right now and check out OpenDNS.com

[In my best Monk impersonation] You’ll thank me for it later.  

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Entry filed under: Networking.

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