Solving DNS Problems

A few months ago, I was randomly searching for something on the web and happened to run across a link to a site called OpenDNS. I’m always interested in something new – and this turned out to be a great find.  There’s nothing wrong with using your standard ISP DNS server addresses and if you ever need support, they’ll likely point you back to those servers declaring that to be the root of your problem, but….

I was tickled to find that there were a number of things that could be done with OpenDNS that went above and beyond what could be done with normal DNS servers. As a side note, I do run my own DNS servers in-house but obviously do have some forwarding needs – and I went ahead and set the OpenDNS servers as the destination.

Where these differ from normal DNS servers is that you can basically set them to block any number of sites, general site types (including adult, gambling, online gaming, social sites), blacklist or specifically whitelist items – the settings are very malleable.  It has prevented on at least one occasion a page request to a known botnet server. Whether or not that would have ended up turning one of my computers into a bot is an unknown, but with a service like this? Why take a chance if you don’t have to? Basic content filters, anti-phishing, malware protection – it all adds up to yet another layer of security that just can’t be beat.

And the price? Even better – it’s a freebie for the most basic needs. For advanced? Just 9.95 / year. Haven’t decided that I need to upgrade yet, but probably will just for the heck of it – saving me from even one possible virus is worth something and ten bucks isn’t a killer.

I’ll be sending out an email to my clients in the next few days about this service. A lot of my clients have kids that are prone to wandering into the wrong places – sometimes inadvertently, sometimes not.  But with a service like this, it should give them at least a bit of protection against it.

OpenDNS? LIZARDWEBS ENDORSED! for all your computer needs in the Clayton, NC area!

Author: Eric Erickson

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