Saturday, June 28, 2008

Open DNS saves my day

OpenDNS has some issues:

[Gruber] I linked to OpenDNS last week, praising their service after Comcast’s own DNS servers had failed me for the last time. It ends up though that OpenDNS is a polarizing service — they’re both praised and scorned. One of the reasons they’re
scorned is that they redirect requests to to their own internal server before forwarding the request along to Google’s They also do wildcard matching for unregistered domain names, a move most DNS experts consider a no-no. They’re open about these “features” (e.g. here’s their explanation for the Google redirection), but I tend to take the side that any sort of “DNS+” service is worse than just plain DNS.

I think it’s worth keeping OpenDNS on deck for use in a pinch if your regular DNS server conks out, but I can’t recommend them for primary use.

On the other hand, OpenDS saved me today. The resort we're staying at has very marginal net access, and today I could reach Google and Microsoft but not much else. I figured their DNS was down. From a Google Cache page I retrieved the openDNS addresses:
OpenDNS > Get Started > Enable OpenDNS

Our nameservers are and
Bingo, that worked. Now everyone on the resort is switching.

I may start using OpenDNS - especially when traveling. The filtering options are appealing for our home use too, so I may well sign up and pay them. More on that after I review Gruber's comments in context.

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