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The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Open DNS!

There are pretty much two things that you can do to increase the speed of your internet connection: buy a higher speed from your ISP, or change the DNS. Changing the DNS addresses is easy and depending on how fast you current ISP's DNS are, can really improve speed. What I use is OpenDNS. It is free, reliable and very secure. To start using it, you simple have to add the following DNS addresses to either your wireless router or to your Ethernet/Airport settings on each Mac:

208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220

Here is how:

1. Go to Network, System Preferences.
2. Choose "Airport" (or Ethernet).
3. Click on "Advanced" and go to the DNS tab.
4. Add the DNS addresses in the left text box "DNS Servers".

An advantage of adding it to the Airport settings of a specific Mac is that you'll still be using the Open DNS addresses when you are using any other wireless network.

You can also create an account at OpenDNS.com and it will let you filter out some websites. You can also whitelist some websites to make sure they are not blocked by their filtering. No filtering will happen if you don't sign up for it on their website though!

10 Comments:

Blogger Steven said...

Having at least one alernate DNS is a good idea - it seems to be a common point of internet issues with my ISP.

I personally use the "4.2.2.x" series as my DNS servers (google it) - they are publicly available.

September 8, 2008 at 1:43 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

You need to be aware of two very bad things about the service, though.

Firstly, OpenDNS routes all your Google queries through their own servers. Yep, they are spying on you.

algebra:~ michael$ host www.google.com 208.67.222.222
Using domain server:
Name: 208.67.222.222
Address: 208.67.222.222#53
Aliases:

www.google.com is an alias for google.navigation.opendns.com.
google.navigation.opendns.com has address 208.69.34.231
google.navigation.opendns.com has address 208.69.34.230

whereas my own DNS server says

algebra:~ michael$ host google.com 10.0.0.4
Using domain server:
Name: 10.0.0.4
Address: 10.0.0.4#53
Aliases:

google.com has address 64.233.167.99
google.com has address 64.233.187.99
google.com has address 72.14.207.99

Secondly, they pull the trick of routing all unfound domains to their own ad-servers, breaking the DNS protocol and many things that depend on it (such as browsers trying the .net address if the .com does not exist or spam filtering on whether the sender domain actually exists).

algebra:~ michael$ host www.erstjhstdfjsrt.com 208.67.222.222
Using domain server:
Name: 208.67.222.222
Address: 208.67.222.222#53
Aliases:

www.erstjhstdfjsrt.com has address 208.69.34.132

September 8, 2008 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger sardough said...

I don't see any "advanced" settings in "network." Is there another way to reach the DNS tab or am I just making some kind of mistake?

September 12, 2008 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

For whatever reason, OpenDNS wasn't as fast as my default DNS settings with Verizon DSL when I tried it about a year ago.

September 12, 2008 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger yash gupta said...

Can anybody verify that using openDNS will enable you to use free internet on public or hotel wifi hotspots without paying?

November 2, 2008 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

@yash: I've tried it, and it won't. Maybe on some very old setup in a dumpy hotel somewhere, but DNS redirecting is only one trick pay-spots use. If you haven't paid, they just won't let you access any IPs but their own server.

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