OpenDNS experiences anyone?

I came across OpenDNS yesterday while trying to troubleshoot a DNS problem, and it sounds like a good service to me. Pretty much everyone I know either doesn’t know what a DNS server is or takes it for granted, but I guess there’s room for ‘added value’ in DNSs.

I’ve had very little trouble with my ISP (Tele2) since I joined them, but their DNS server appears to be… well crap basically. It seems to be very slow to update, and as a result I’ve been unable to see my own sites when everyone else could visit them just fine. For days.

Perhaps I’ve grown cynical but I really didn’t think there would be free alternatives out there. I’ve set up my netbook to use OpenDNS (after which I could instantly visit my sites again). Haven’t notices any speed differences yet, but the typo correction works (adn is graet for me). The phishing filter also sounds like a great idea. It makes more sense to do this at a DNS level instead of say in the browser.

So, anyone want to share experiences? Is this as great a service as it sounds?

Roy | December 20, 2008 | English,Internet | Comments (12)
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12 Comments

  1. Roy,
    Been using OpenDNS for over a year now with almost no problems (couldn’t give you an example of one either). My primary motivation for using it was internet content filtering. I have 5 kids that I was trying to protect from the internet. I think you will find it fast and useful.

    Comment by Jim Collison — December 22, 2008 @ 3:15 am

  2. My ISP started showing ads instead of 404 pages, without rewriting the URL, which totally screwed up my browser history because it thought broken URLs were getting HTTP 200 codes. This also really pissed me off since I’m already paying for my internet. I decided to switch to OpenDNS and I’ve been very pleased. It shows ads at 404s as well (unless you donate), but it rewrites the URL so that broken URLs don’t populate my browser history.

    I’m pretty amazed at how fast OpenDNS resolves domains. I might consider setting up my own DNS server some time over this winter break but until then I’m very pleased with OpenDNS. You should definitely give it a try.

    Comment by Brian — December 22, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  3. Wow, an ISP that shows 3rd party (?) ads on 404 pages.. that’s rich…

    Luckily my kids don’t quite surf the web just yet, but I can see OpenDNS can be a big help there. So far I’ve been very pleased with their service, so I guess I’ll stick around for a while.

    Comment by Roy — December 23, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

  4. Link: Incompetent companies: Tele2’s support desk | Roy Tanck's weblog
  5. Hi,

    I have been using OpenDNS service since 2 years and have deployed it at numerous businesses where I serve as a IT Consultant.

    The service has grown from being a simple Public DNS to something with sophisticated content control and logging. Using the OpenDNS updater, you can ensure that your OpenDNS content filtering settings apply even of the IP of your Internet connection changes. You can also use the updater to update your IP at DynDns.org etc.

    Compared to my ISP (primary dns fails once in week, secondary never seems to work), I have not faced any downtime with OpenDNS service.

    Recommend you try it and customize the content filtering to suite your requirements.

    HTH

    Comment by Rajib Ghosh — December 29, 2008 @ 7:53 am

  6. Thanks Rajib. Currently all I really need is a reliable DNS, but I’ll be sure to check out the other settings as well.

    Comment by Roy — December 29, 2008 @ 9:36 am

  7. I have been using OpenDNS for at least a year now,possibly closer to two years.
    As stated by Rajib OpenDNS is configurable to your liking.
    I just leave it to it’s own and like knowing OpenDNS works.
    I have even configured my router to use OpenDNS with no ill effects.

    Comment by noprob — January 7, 2009 @ 4:06 am

  8. I’ve been testing OpenDNS for a while now one one of my computers and so far I’ve been very happy with it. Definately better than my ISP’s name servers.

    Comment by Roy — January 7, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

  9. Open DNS, what an amazing service!

    Tele2 DLS service in France is mediocre at best, and often just horrendous, worse than dial-up. I just setup OpenDNS in attempts to fix Tele2 DNS server slowdown (about 40 seconds to load Google or any site on the net, but connects no problem via IP address), and it worked instantly!

    So glad I found this blog, thanks for the heads up!

    Comment by Tele2 Adious! — April 30, 2009 @ 10:19 pm

  10. Roy ,

    I am not that computer literate as you all, looking into to your blog and twitter for the first time. I have been falling into the boobytrap of attractive and low startup costs for Tele 2 Telephone and Internet. Installed everything yesterday, ran the CMD test, modem, computer and telephone were connected well, did IP check. Could enter internet but very slow loading and it asked for the Active X updates for flash (??) so installed that but loading the Tele2 page remained slow. Ran my updates of Norton 2006 after that plus total scan ( bought the Compaq Presario PC 3 years ago as “standalone” with OEM software preinstalled). After Norton’s “live update”I could not enter the internet anymore. Problem is a DNS error based on the C:\\system32.docll.dnserror.html
    Could Open DNS help me further in this matter and how does that basically function? Could I keep my Tele2 IP numbers and just change the DNS number? As I said I may sound stupid but just began to explore abit for a solution and became intrigued by all this open source and community info exchange :)
    Thanks in advance for your valuable comments,

    Robrecht

    Comment by Robrecht — October 27, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

    • Hi Robrecht. It sounds to me like the DNS server is the least of your worries. Norton can be a real pain, so I’d recommend either temporarily disabling it or uninstalling it altogether. OpenDNS is a faster replacement for your ISPs DNS server, but unless those are somehow offline, using OpenDNS will not fix your connection. It’ll also not speed up page loads, just the short time it takes to resolve the page’s address.

      Comment by Roy — October 28, 2009 @ 8:31 am

  11. I’ve been using OpenDNS for a number of years and had been transferring every company I’ve dealt with to them.
    It is all chaning now and I’ll be looking at replacements for them once the current issue is resolved. As of right now a number of domains are not resolving through OpenDNS however they don’t see an issue on their system status. To make it worse, their support system isn’t accepting tickets so I can’t contact them.

    Some time Googling has also shown that quite a few other people have had similar issues in the past and the OpenDNS response has always been, its your ISP, they are dropping packets. Or they blame the remote nameservers. Nevermind that switching to another DNS provider fixes the problem, it is never OpenDNS that is at fault according to them.

    Comment by Stephen Ryan — September 11, 2010 @ 3:40 pm