OpenDNS. A very clever free service from David Ulevitch lets you use their 3rd party DNS servers instead of relying on the ones from your ISP (DNS servers act as the traffic cops of Web surfing by translating the web address you type into the box into the IP number that web computers understand). Read more here. The result is faster and more reliable surfing, and automatic protection from known phishing and other malware sites. I’ve been trying it out and sites definitely seem to load quicker, snappier all round. There are a bunch of other benefits too, including the ability to create shortcuts to your frequently accessed sites, which is great for those URLs that seem to go on for ever.
The whole thing runs on your own machine or network, so there’s no security issues, and there’s a nice simple dashboard which lets you manage your settings to get the most out of the system. You can also quickly and easily set up a home network wide firewall to block out ‘unsuitable’ sites to protect the kids and elders, which is something that will appeal to the paranoid generation.
How does the company make money? Well if you mistype a domain name (typing amzon.com for instance) you either get redirected to the real site (nice!) or their OpenDNS search engine (which is a normal pay per click Google engine) so they make money on clicks. It’s very smart stuff and with the billions of transactions they’re conducting it’s bound to be making a shed load of money. Good luck to them, it’s a neat idea, well executed.
OpenDNS is the world’s largest, fastest-growing DNS service provider. More than 1 million people worldwide (and growing) trust us to handle their DNS and Web-content filtering needs. Why? Because we take a fresh approach to the Domain Name System and make it smarter and more powerful than it’s ever been. OpenDNS was founded in late 2005 by DNS expert and entrepreneur David Ulevitch. OpenDNS is constantly adding new features to improve the OpenDNS experience for everyone from SysAdmins at large organizations to parents at home.