SERVICE: OPENDNS recommended for everyone

Thursday, July 19, 2012

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Announcing new Parental Controls categories

We recently announced several improvements to the Domain Tagging system, our content categorization engine, and two new categories that you can enable for your home networks, effective immediately, to secure your family’s Web browsing.

As with every new feature we deliver, these improvements are the direct result of your feedback. Our team spent weeks evaluating both the current categories and your suggestions, and ultimately we decided which categories need to be added and which ones could use a facelift. By simply logging into your Dashboard and adjusting your custom settings, you can now filter Anime/Manga/Webcomic and Click/Survey/Pharmaceutical Web Spam. To our knowledge, OpenDNS is the first and only filtering service to offer a Web spam category, though Web spam is increasingly present online.

As the Internet evolves we’ll continue to evaluate our Web filtering categories and your requests to make sure we’re ahead of the curve. If you’d like to get more involved, join our Domain Tagging community and help make the Internet better for millions around the world!

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Item #4 is for those with children. First this is free. Second, it’s invisible to all but the most techie kids.

* Open a free account on OpenDNS. (Not even sure this is required, but it’s a trivial step that allows them to enumerate their User community.)

* Open your favorite browser, connect to your router, (usually or 2.1)

* Find the screen where the router holds the DNS entry. (Easy. Most routers have tabs on their admin screen. One will be labeled: “DNS”.)

* Replace what the ISP gives you (theirs. so they can collect ad $ on you) with the OpenDNS values.

That’s it. Each platform that starts up will shift to use the OpenDNS.

No one is the wiser that you’re protecting them.

You should check from time to time. You don’t “own” the router; the ISP does. From time to time, they will push a “refresh” or “software update”. (Not for your benefit, but theirs.)

Some of the more paranoid, not me, actually put another router after the ISP router. They wish to prevent the ISP from browsing their platforms or seeing the intra-platform traffic.

FMPOV who cares.

p.s., I use OpenDNS to prevent popup porn, phishing, and malware. Been using it for eons. I don’t understand why more people don’t. Don’t have to think about it. Most bad sites just won’t resolve. YMMV

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Tech|2/25/2012 @ 5:34PM
A Closer Look at Google Public DNS
Elise Ackerman, Contributor

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What role has Google played in the DNS ecosystem? Do you see them as a competitor or a partner?

Google has helped raise the importance of DNS above the network engineering community, which has been really good. They’ve also worked with us to advance the state of the art for DNS performance, something we’ve really enjoyed working with them to make happen. It’s not so much competition as it is choice in the market. If they started defaulting Chrome to use Google DNS, I think that’s something we would take issue with, but for now, we like the idea of people using a DNS other than their ISPs, that’s a good idea for a lot of reasons.

What are some of those reasons?

I like the idea of separation of services. ISPs provide a pipe. Other vendors provide security. Other vendors provide email. When one party controls all the services, it’s a “synergy” for the company, but rarely for the consumer. With DNS in particular, there are performance and security benefits that third party DNS providers offer that ISPs aren’t incentivized to do since DNS is a cost-center for them, and a profit-center for us.

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I think anything which promotes heterogeneity on the Internet promotes stability. Diversity in services, service providers, and separating the layers of the networking stack are all important. Your ISP no longer provides you email because everyone either uses their own or has an account with Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo mail. The same way people unbundled their email from their ISP, I think they should do with their DNS. Separation of services has been a long-standing best practice in the security community, and it applies now more than ever. In that vein, I’ll reiterate my view that I think Google controlling search, the browser, and the network or DNS layer is a dangerous trifecta that the consumer will probably be best served avoiding.  I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

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I’ve been a fan of separation of duties.

ISP EMAIL has always been a trap for their Customers. That “” is the property of the ISP; not the Customer. Once you give that out to enough people you’re locked in.

Why not use a DNS service that has an incentive to be loyal to you?

Since finding OPENDNS, I have not had an DNS outages. I know that VERIZON, COMCAST, and GOOGLE have had outages.

Easy decision fmpov.

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