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 22.214.171.124. 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