OpenDNS

When you type a website into your browser, it’s the Domain Name System (DNS) that looks up the name and resolves it to an IP address. For example, Yahoo.com resolves (at least for me, today) to the IP address 216.109.112.135. People use the name, but computers need the number. DNS is the “phone book” in between.

(On a side note, wouldn’t it be nice if you could call me at “richardkmiller” on your phone? If the name resolved to my phone number, you wouldn’t have to remember the number and if I changed it I wouldn’t lose anybody.)

A new project called OpenDNS is providing a better DNS service. It catches typos and protects you from known phishing scams. For example, if you type “Yahoo.cmo” into your browser, OpenDNS automatically corrects it to Yahoo.com. If you visit a phishing site, OpenDNS blocks it. If you type in just a word or phrase like “Seinfeld”, it does a search, which you may or may not like.

This service is free and doesn’t require installing anything. You simply change the DNS settings on your computer or your router. I chose the second option so this service is automatically available to everyone in the house. I like it so far, and hopefully my roommates will also find it convenient. I’ll report back if I see anything different.

I’d like to see a service like this that filters porn sites for those that want it.

Via: Matt Mullenweg

3 replies on “OpenDNS”

  1. “I’d like to see a service like this that filters porn sites for those that want it.”

    You should check out proxy servers. They basically stand between you (or your house, or your company) and the internet. Besides sharing a local cache with other users (better for speed if you happen to visit the same websites), proxy servers allow you to set everything from which sites can or can’t be visited, what times of the day the internet is available for each user, etc. You can even have it scan the site for profanity before it is dished up, so if it finds any objectionable text it redirects to another page instead of dispalying the content. There are also “blacklists” that you can download to block pornagraphic sites, although it’s hard to catch everything.

    Anyway, proxy servers really do provide a very configurable solution. We use on at my dad’s business, and it really keeps the funny business down. The Squid proxy server on Linux is excellent, but there are other options available as well.

  2. in response to

    “(On a side note, wouldn’t it be nice if you could call me at “richardkmiller” on your phone? If the name resolved to my phone number, you wouldn’t have to remember the number and if I changed it I wouldn’t lose anybody.)”

    get ready for the VOIP generation…

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