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OpenDNS

OpenDNS is a great idea, well-executed. They took something basic and ubiquitous, DNS, and improved it by adding spell-checking and phishing protection (usability enhancements). They provide the service for free in exchange for monetizing typo search pages. The typo search pages are simple, fast, and generally useful. What I was looking for is usually the first result. There is no software to install, just two settings to change, and they provide a registration-free way to set preferences on their site. John Roberts is a friend from my CNET days and gave me a preview a few days before they launched, I've been using it full-time ever since and it has been invisible in all the right ways.

37 replies on “OpenDNS”

[…] I’m testing out OpenDNS here at work on my main computer. I’ll try out any service to replace something on our network. In testing the past couple of minutes some web pages seem to load faster and some slower. I’ll also be setting it up at home to see how it performs. Time will tell. (via Matt) Related Posts Free Web HostingGet FreeMulti-Monitor taskBarDebt Free-erFeeding Readers With a Feed Reader   […]

[…] Tags: DNS, OpenDNS, phishing, spell checking, web browsingMatt and Nick both posted about trying and liking OpenDNS.Since it’s free, doesn’t require installing anything, and only takes two settings to change, it’s amazingly simple to set it up. It invisibly speeds up web browsing, adds spell checking (if you misspell a domain name), and protects from phishing. At work, our connection is pretty slow, so it’s tough to tell if there’s a major difference. I’m pretty confident it’ll work great at home. Apparently, it speeds up Myspace, too! […]

Gotta disagree. What’s to stop them from calling wordpress.org a typo and loading sixapart.com? Or, using an example from one of my old domains, theapparatus.com (A heavy metal German band and a domain I used to own before an ICANN review) vs theapparatus.net (my old hosting company and the domain I wound up with) and calling it a typo fix. No disrespect meant towards Mr Roberts of course as I do understand what they’re trying to do but seems like I would be putting a whole lot of trust in a company and precedures I know little about.

*chuckle* I wonder what they would do with tdjc.be/net/info. Would they send me over to the Texas Department of Justice and Corrections? I get tons of hits for it on my sites.

[…] OpenDNS was founded by my friend David Ulevitch, who has been telling me about this project ever since I met him last year at an early SuperHappyDevHouse event. I had no idea how great it would be until I actually had a chance to try it out today. David told me that they just launched when I saw him at last week’s Stirr event, but then I got sidetracked. Today Matt posted about it which reminded me to check it out. You should do the same when you get a chance. tags: DNS (T) , OpenDNS (T) , networking (T) , David Ulevitch (T) posted by Scott Beale on Tuesday, July 18th, 2006 Comments RSS feed | Trackback URL […]

drmike,

Good question: What’s to stop them from calling wordpress.org a typo and loading sixapart.com?

Two things will stop that.

1) On a business level, the simple answer is because “you would stop using us.” Keeping you happy keeps us happy.
2) We let you enable or disable features. Want phishing protection but not typo protection? Go ahead and set that up here: http://www.opendns.com/prefs/ One of the big things we’re trying to do is change DNS from being a firehose that people are forced to keep open and in its place put something that allows you to manage the DNS on your network, computer, access point, etc.

On top of that, we focus on DNS. It’s what I’ve been doing for years. My goal is make it as reliable and awesome for you as possible. Some of you know me from http://www.everydns.net/ which people use to manage your their domain names already.

Thanks!

“What’s to stop them from calling wordpress.org a typo and loading sixapart.com?”

Easy: people would stop using their service if they did that, since it would take approximately 30 seconds to change their settings back, and they’d go out of business. That’s what stops them.

This is a very geeky, US only solution. The key to their success will be a solution that hosting providers are interesting in deploying.

With Firefox or Flock, typing words in the address bar and the implicit Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” will get you good results often with less typing than OpenDNS’s tyop correct. The phishing feature is novel but also coming in Firefox 2.0 . Maintaining phishing lists can be expensive if you don’t have access to the kind of data that Google has.

[…] Open yourself to OpenDNS. They have configuration pages for your OS or hardware router. Both Scott Beale (LaughingSquid) and I have seen dramatic differences in speed since going through their DNS servers. Matt’s happy about it, too. My speed difference was probably even more dramatic, considering I’ve already implemented my second recommendation… […]

[…] I heard about them from Matt Mullenweg and have been using their service without any problems. In fact, I’ve noticed DNS looks are faster, and it’s already fixed several of my typos in domains which is handy. Previously, my DNS lookups were kind of slow, but now they’re zipping right along and it is indeed invisible in all the right ways as Matt observed. […]

DrMike:
So far as I would understand it, the typo killer only happens when a domain fails to resolve.
Active domain results are returned, PERIOD.

Note though, I haven’t tried it out, so I don’t know.
I look forward to starting it soon, however.

Great post, Matt. I’ve been hearing about OpenDNS but never really bothered to find out what it really does. Thanks for the super-short summary (it sold me–I’m using OpenDNS right now :)).

[…] So how can such a basic service be improved for the end-user? Direct your gaze toward OpenDNS, which adds some features to DNS that immediately make the lives of users easier. In particular, it adds phishing protection and address spell-checking to every web site request your browser makes, without you having to install any software. All you have to do is configure your browser or OS to point to OpenDNS’ DNS servers, and the next time an email points you to a phishing site, OpenDNS will block it, and the next time you accidentally type downloadsquad.cmo, OpenDNS will automatically direct you to .com. On top of that, OpenDNS claims to be faster than other DNS servers. On top of that, you can configure which features you want to use (e.g. if you don’t want phishing protection, turn it off) without even registering. It’s also totally free to use–OpenDNS makes money by placing advertisements on those typo pages. WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg wrote a mini-review of the service and says it’s “a great idea, well-executed” and “invisible in all the right ways.” I’m sold. […]

A preliminary test didn’t show any improvement in speed at all… sorry to say it was slower for most pages. However, on a second machine there was slight improvement, but not enough to do the Snoopy Happy Dance. I will have to set up some production machines with the DNS to really give it a workout.

Nice idea, I hope it works well in long run. I’d use it often if it does.

[…] – Go switch your settings to use OpenDNS. This is to all of my nerd/non-nerd readers out there. If you have a high speed connection at home (DSL, cable, etc), you should be interested in this. It has without a doubt sped up my browsing at home. It’s a really simple tweak that you can do either on your computer or your router at home. PC or Mac. Wired or wireless. It doesn’t matter. It’s not spyware and doesn’t do anything evil and is absolutely free. Lots of people have been using OpenDNS lately and have had dramatic results in the speed of their internet connections. […]

I meant to write “The key to their success will be a solution that *ISP* are interesting in deploying.” Been dealing with my own hosting issues.

Hi David,

I don’t think that because Google asks you that they don’t have good data. My experience in my short time that I chose to work in this area for an established malware desktop client — didn’t appeal to me — was the more data you have the better. It is a very stressful area both when positives are missed and false positives are made. Google has multiple avenues of good data:
* web spidering
* email
* ISP

I think you have a good opportunity in a short term niche, and the opportunity to make it much more.

All the best,
Lloyd

I love how folks are rating DNS reply times as browser rendering speeds.

Guys: switching to a new DNS server is only going to speed up *how long it takes for your computer to look up the IP address of a site.* And thats only on a) the first time you go to a site, or b) going back to a site that you haven’t been to in a while and so is not still in your local cache.

DNS servers won’t ‘speed up’ the way your browser renders a page, the most they’ll do is speed up how long your machine takes to find a page. And that’s only on a new site. The rest of the time (say, going to google.com) your machine is getting the IP from it’s local cache. You only notice a slow DNS server when you go to a page you’ve never been to, or haven’t been to in a while, and it can’t find the page for a few seconds or times out before it resolves the IP.

The truly useful features of OpenDNS are the features mentioned above: phishing protection and typo correction. I love how google.cm resolves to google.com now (a common typo with my fists of ham.)

What if a user, with OpenDNS installed, types in “business.co” and presses enter.

Will OpenDNS resolve to “business.com” or “business.co.uk”?

How does OpenDNS correctly figure when the user wants to go, in such situations?

[…] Posted in Technology, Networking, Internet, Interesting at 10:34 pm by Patrick Havens Photo Matt » OpenDNS OpenDNS is a great idea, well-executed. They took something basic and ubiquitous, DNS, and improved it by adding spell-checking and phishing protection (usability enhancements). They provide the service for free in exchange for monetizing typo search pages. The typo search pages are simple, fast, and generally useful. What I was looking for is usually the first result. There is no software to install, just two settings to change, and they provide a registration-free way to set preferences on their site. John Roberts is a friend from my CNET days and gave me a preview a few days before they launched, I’ve been using it full-time ever since and it has been invisible in all the right ways. […]

[…] When I read Matthew Mullenweg (of WordPress fame) blog entry about OpenDNS I was a bit sceptical. I wouldn’t think speed improvements where possible, the DNS provided by my ISP should be the quickest solution. But to my amazement there was a speed increase when I switched the DNS servers on my Mac. Not much but is was notable and that is enough for me, until I get my own DNS server I’m using OpenDNS. […]

[…] Matt (of wordpress fame) wrote a bit about it and got quite a few comments back, “OpenDNS is a great idea, well-executed. They took something basic and ubiquitous, DNS, and improved it by adding spell-checking and phishing protection (usability enhancements). They provide the service for free in exchange for monetizing typo search pages. The typo search pages are simple, fast, and generally useful. What I was looking for is usually the first result. There is no software to install, just two settings to change, and they provide a registration-free way to set preferences on their site. John Roberts is a friend from my CNET days and gave me a preview a few days before they launched, I’ve been using it full-time ever since and it has been invisible in all the right ways.” (source) […]

[…] I’ve been meaning to check out OpenDNS for some time now and finally got around to it, in part thanks to Paul and WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg’s blog post. I’m only playing with it in my dorm right now (I set it up as my static DNS servers in my router and DHCP does the rest). It’s billed as a fast DNS service with typo-redirection and anti-phishing capabilities. It is fast, Tech’s DNS servers have been noticeably slow this semester when performing uncached lookups (they’re still fast when the lookup is cached though) and when I visited several sites that are notorious for being uncached lookups it zipped right along. The TLD typo (.comm -> com) works well and quickly (I will admit to making such mistakes from time to time). I haven’t done much with their phishing capabilities. Phishing hasn’t been an issue for me, but obviously it is for some people since we have billions of dollars disappearing as a result of identity theft, some of which occurs due to phishing. […]

How to: Use OpenDNS on Ubuntu

With OpenDNS you will not get a faster internet connection. But you will get much faster domain lookup which will result in a faster internet expierence. You will also get automated, domain phishing blocking and URL typo auto-correction!
Here is how to…

I do like the theory that goes behind OpenDNS. I believe it is a great idea for anyone that uses the internet and wants to avoid all kinds of phishing scams. My issue is that what if someone edits the DNS entries in OpenDNS and changes something like scottrade and etrade to phishing sites. Without some assurance from a 3rd party security firm, i dunno if i can trust using it for private secure transactions.

[…] Before OpenDNS, DNS was not an individual choice — it was either on or off, with no customization available. OpenDNS delivers a service which gives the user control through intelligence added to the DNS. And it’s available, by choice, in two minutes following brief step-by-step instructions. “OpenDNS is a great idea, well-executed,” said Matt Mullenweg, lead developer of WordPress, the popular blogging platform. “They took something basic and ubiquitous, DNS, and improved it by adding spell-checking and phishing protection (usability enhancements).” [full post] […]

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