OpenDNS – A Free Alternative


I think you all are aware of OpenDNS as there have been lots of blog posts about it. Here, I am discussing all the areas where you can use it as an alternative. Before that,  let’s briefly look into what DNS is and why OpenDNS?

What is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System, whose task is to translate alphabetic domain name [] to numeric (IP Address) like [] for locating and addressing to appropriate devices world wide. Simply it is like a phone book of the Internet. All the major ISP‘s maintain their own DNS at their dedicated DNS Servers to resolve the user requests.

Read more about DNS.

Why OpenDNS?

A  San Francisco company named OpenDNS , which hosts a free phone book ( Public DNS Servers),  provides better and more reliable services than major Internet service providers. OpenDNS does the same as ISP, but in a better way because they are dedicated to this job and most importantly, they are free.

If you are not happy with your ISP’s DNS  then you can configure your computer, router or DNS  Servers to use OpenDNS by just following some simple steps.

If you are running a school, college or a small organization, you need web content filtering, to  block user access to high risk websites as well as inappropriate websites. You can use firewall or some content filtering tools like Websense and ISA. But this option adds a huge budget to your organization and is also very complex.

OpenDNS  provides very good content filtering. You can choose it at different levels. This  functionality may not be as comprehensive as other solutions. But for organizations with a smaller budget, it is more than good.


You can also block individual domains which are not covered by default. For example:  if you like to block  Google served ads then just add – and It will block most of the Google ads.

But on behalf of all bloggers , I  don’t recommend you to do so 😉

(Sources: wikipedia , opendns-start , openDNS, double-click, googlesyndication)


Harsh Agrawal April 18, 2009

I used OPEN DNS when I was using BSNL broadband in my college, and I strongly recommend using OPEn DNS to the people who are facing page not found error despite of having a decent Internet connection.
The content filtering is one of the service which every parents should try to implement for childcare’s.

Abhimanyu May 2, 2009

AKM, opendns does has its own problems too specially with content filtering on shared IP. Please check this (and your readers too of this post). Its not bad idea to for opendns to start using cookies.

Rahul Bansal May 8, 2009

I really think cookie handling by a DNS server is practical solution.
Better use browser’s like Firefox or install anti-phishing filters.