By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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Use OpenDNS

I have been using OpenDNS for quite a while now to increase the reliability and speed of Internet access. (“DNS” is the system used to translate human-friendly names into computer-friendly numeric addresses.) It’s reliable and invisible. I’m only noticing it again now because I’ve found the Internet service provider I’m relying on at the moment to have less-than-stellar DNS responses, and the switch to OpenDNS has made a subtle, yet noticeable difference.

What does OpenDNS improve?

  • Helps identify “phishing” sites that have been set up to try to steal personal information (fake PayPal sites, for example).
  • Can be set to block “adult” sites, if that makes sense on your network.
  • It’s faster, both because of large caches and because they’ve spread out their servers geographically.
  • It helps fix common URL typos. If it can’t fix it, you get a search page that tries to help (and has advertising, which accounts for their revenue).
  • Shortcuts are available to make typing URLs easier.
  • They specialize in DNS, and I’ve found their servers to be very reliable.

Plus, OpenDNS is free, and they have instructions for many different network setups. Recommended.