Saturday, December 12, 2009

Get Yer Own Free DNS Service!

…prepare for an onslaught of GSD posting.  The bookmark log-jam appears to be breaking up!


cc attribution: Outfall of Moraine Lake on flickr by ahisgett

OpenDNS – Still the Best in my book

I’ve been a huge fan at home of the fast and free OpenDNS service.  I have my home router hard-coded to OpenDNS for all our web-domain addressing lookups.  It has never let me down.  Truth be told, I’ve no desire to change it.  Highly recommended by me and other tech gurus for a long time.

Their OpenDNS > System Status Page is chock full of volume and reliability goodness for the geekily curious.  If you are like me and are a hard-core OpenDNS user, you might want to bookmark to keep track of their uptime and incident status.  Or you can also subscribe to their OpenDNS System RSS Feed to get an early warning of any issues (rare though they may be).

Besides basic and no-issue DNS lookup handling, OpenDNS can also provide advanced web-access control, security (such as phishing and typo-misdirection protection), stats and reports, and other features as well; for free.

As OpenDNS says:

For the nerds

Our nameservers are always:


It doesn’t really matter if all you have is a single PC/laptop and are connected to the ISP pipe directly, or if you have a more advanced setup with a home router, OpenDNS has wonderful guides to walk you through the easy (and did I mention FREE) configurations needed.

For specific visual guides on how to change your current DNS (or ISP provided) default settings for various operating systems, routers, and servers to OpenDNS, please refer to the following OpenDNS guided how-to tours:

Curious as to what one of their newest OpenDNS datacenter hardware configurations looks like?  If that sounds pretty hot to you then you must check out this sexy Amsterdam server-p0rn photostream.  Blog post here.

Google Public DNS – A new Sheriff in Town?

There are other publically available and free DNS services peacefully living in harmony under the OpenDNS shadow, but two weeks ago, a storm rolled in; Google’s own free DNS service.

Google Public DNS

And after an Introduction into DNS for the masses, their own spin was offered on why GoogleDNS provides Performance Benefits and Security Benefits

Curious?  Well then hop over to Using Google Public DNS as explained by Google and you are good to go!

Naturally, the Interwebs caught fire again, briefly.

In that post, Daniel shared not just the two public DNS addresses for Google’s DNS Servers but a unreported 3rd one as well.

    3. // the one google hasn’t talked about yet

Still unsure?  Then get lost in the detailed FAQs page.

David responds to the Goliath’s challenge

If you care to see OpenDNS’s response to the hoopla from Google, then read this great OpenDNS Blog post by the founder/CEO himself, David Ulevitch, Some thoughts on Google DNS.

I’m convinced to stand behind the guy with the slingshot.

And then there were the forgotten: Other Free DNS Services

Of course, while I’ve seen nothing to sway me to try Google’s DNS (yet) and switch from OpenDNS, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been other options around.  Depending on your specific need and location, you might actually find one of this other (of many) free DNS services able to meet your need.

Not sure what DNS is or if you need it?  Our first alternative DNS Advantage has some nice primers to get you going as well as a guided setup.

As listed by PenTestIT.

See also this list from Vivek Gite at the Hakuna Matata blog: Free Fast Public DNS Servers List

The Valca DNS Takeway?

As for me and my house?  We have chosen to follow OpenDNS.

Use OpenDNS

Don’t let my conviction dissuade you.  Try some of the alternatives.  Your results may vary from mine.

--Claus V.

PS: This is really meant for home users and sysadmins who know what they are doing when they play around with DNS settings.  I seriously don’t recommend you using any of these in your corporate or workplace PC system unless you have the blessing of your system-admins/Help Desk.  Doing so may break access to your company Intranet pages (on your system) and act like a confundus-charm on your IT staff who have to fix things.

You’ve been warned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny, I just set this up on my router yesterday after I discovered my ISP now brings up their page if I mis-type an address.