One of the things I have discovered working on the Internet is that DNS changes take time. I have seen changes to a nameserver take up to 48 hours to start to resolve here in Saskatchewan. I know that it is not the case for the rest of the world because using a web proxy I was often able to test the website and it would often start to resolve properly in 30 minutes or less. Being a web developer I can’t wait for the ISP’s in Saskatchewan to catch up to the rest of the world so I started looking for an alternative to using my ISP’s DNS settings so I could get back to work faster. What I found was OpenDNS.
OpenDNS gives you an alternative to using your ISP’s DNS settings. I been able to change nameservers on a domain and have them start to resolve quickly, allowing me to get back to work on a website for a client. No more waiting a long and pitiful 48 hours for my ISP to catch up with the rest of the world.
Being a parent of little kids I am also worried about what my kids might accidentally find when they are on the Internet. Sure they really only know how to get to PBS Kids, CBC Kids, and a few other websites, but there are times when they click on other things or ads and end up going places I might not want them to be. OpenDNS has been great to help with that as well. They offer a filtering service that I can customize to prevent Phishing attacks, adult material and more. It has been great to have the extra filter in place just in case the kids click on the wrong ad or just type something into the address bar and hit enter.
I also like the fact that I can create shortcuts for websites. All I have to do to access my GMail is type mail into the address bar and I goto GMail. Type in lgr and I am taken to my website. The shortcuts alone can save a person time to get to the websites you use all the time.
There is only one thing I would like to see changed about OpenDNS. When you type in the wrong URL it will display a search with some possible results for the address you typed. It appears to be powered by Yahoo and the results are often horrible. It would be nice if they gave people the ability to choose a search provider. It would be even better if the default search provider was Google.
I have been using OpenDNS for over a year and I am surprised I have never written about it. It has been great to use and I enjoy the extra features that it gives me to protect my kids and computers. If you are a webmaster, blogger, or want to use a better DNS provider than what your ISP provides you should check out OpenDNS. It only takes a few minutes to setup and it is FREE!