Trying OpenDNS

If you use the Internet, you’re using DNS (Domain Name System).

I heard about this listening to the Slashdotreview podcast a couple of days ago. OpenDNS claims that they can perform faster DNS lookups than can your ISP. They further claim they can correct typos (i.e. you type wikipedia.og instead of as well as protect you from known Phishing pages.

So I’m giving them a whirl. I’ve added the OpenDNS IP addresses to the formerly empty static DNS IP address section in my WRT54G router and am using it now.

Given the vagaries of the Internet, it’s not really possible to say immediately whether DNS resolution is faster than it used to be. I suppose that will end up being a qualitative judgment on my part after a few more days of use.

However I *can* say that the “type correction” feature is pretty slick. If you get the URL hopelessly wrong (i.e. leave off the extension entirely), rather than getting a “cannot be found” kind of error, you are directed to a search page that usually has the correct option very near the top.

I’ve played a little bit with the shortcut ability (i.e. I type “mb” on the address bar and it figures it out and sends me to although I *am* somewhat sketchy on how it know it’s *me* typing that shortcut. Dynamic IP addresses for home users is the norm. The FAQ doesn’t address this item.

Going to my other computers yields different results, my old Win2K laptop, when I type “mb” on Firefox’s address bar brings up wikipedia’s definition for “Megabyte”. On Mich’s laptop doing the same thing brings up the OpenDNS search results page.

Solution: It turns out that I need to be logged into OpenDNS. You have the option of remaining logged in until you explicitly log out, so that little mystery is solved.

I’ll play with this a little more and see if I have any issues.

4 thoughts on “Trying OpenDNS”

  1. if you set up a shortcut network wide, it will work on any machine using the router.

    if you just set it up as a personal shortcut, it will only work on that machine, or as you point out, if you’re logged in.

    It uses cookies on the personal, and the external IP address on the network one.

  2. I saw the option to “add a network” to my account and, frankly, couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

    Maybe I’m just not tech-savvy enough but I had absolutely no idea what I’m supposed to enter, either for the IP address(es) (I guess this only works for folks with static IPs?) or especially for the section under “My Info” where it discusses “managing a large network”.

    I’m guessing OpenDNS is currently still targeting “Ubergeeks” whereas I’m more of a “laygeek” 🙂 but providing some more details / examples would certainly make that clearer.

  3. OK, figured it out. The option to add my current IP address did the trick. I “do” have a static IP so I’m golden. Tested my other computers and they are all applying the same shortcuts now too.

  4. cool, I’m glad it worked. I know they have a lot more stuff coming for the “laygeek”, so hang in there.

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