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OpenDNS on Mission to Improve Domain Name System
By: Terri Wells
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    Table of Contents:
  • OpenDNS on Mission to Improve Domain Name System
  • OpenDNS Sees a Solution
  • Easy to Set Up
  • For ISPs, and Future Services

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    OpenDNS on Mission to Improve Domain Name System - For ISPs, and Future Services

    (Page 4 of 4 )

    OpenDNS is also working with ISPs to offer its services to ISP customers. OpenDNS lets ISPs offer a branded search results page on which they can share a message they can change any time through their Account page. The page, which includes clearly labeled advertisements, will display when customers attempt to enter a domain that does not exist or is not resolving. OpenDNS bills it as another way for ISPs to stay in touch with their customers and improve their relationship.

    The service for ISPs from OpenDNS also lets ISPs securely manage their DNS and monitor DNS usage for their network. Of course, customers of the ISP get all the advantages of the OpenDNS service: typo correcting, phishing blocking, and improved speed. Like the service it provides directly to customers, the OpenDNS service for ISPs does not require any extra infrastructure on the part of the ISP. Several ISPs are already using the service; John Roberts mentioned ExpressTC (www.express.tc) as one of his company's clients.

    OpenDNS has another tool in the works that should be of particular interest to anyone with a domain name who anticipates changing web hosts. Normally, when you move your domain, you would want to lower the TTL (Time To Live) to the minimum amount of time, so that the records aren't held in cache for any longer than is necessary (and to help reduce disruption). As Roberts explained, "OpenDNS has caches large enough to hold tens of millions of addresses...so we always hold the full TTL (never longer)." In that case, it can be helpful to have some way to update directly, so "we're going to provide a self-service tool for people to have us refresh our DNS cache."

    The final thing I'd like to mention is not a future service, but one that OpenDNS makes available now. While anyone can change their DNS settings to use OpenDNS, web surfers can take the extra step of setting up a free account with the company. Using the account, you can set your preferences as far as typo squatting, phishing, and more. OpenDNS will even show you stats covering your DNS usage (which can be quite handy for sysadmins monitoring the load on their networks). If the thought of being monitored makes you a little squeamish, a check of the company's privacy policy should be reassuring.

    All in all, it sounds as if OpenDNS offers a very useful service. Since it's free, you may want to test it out yourself for a while first before registering, just to see whether it speeds things up for you (and how much). It will be interesting to see how the company develops, and whether David Ulevitch manages to fulfill his vow to make DNS a household word.

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.


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