I personally love OpenDNS, at least as much as you can love a DNS service. It offers a number of admin features that are usually reserved for bigger and badder ISPs and the service is free, fast, and fun (not really, but I liked the alliteration). If you’ve never used it, it essentially replaces your current ISPs Domain Name Server which is like the Internet’s phone book. To use it, all you have to do is type in two sets of numbers into your network preferences. If you want to get really fancy, you can create an account to control access to certain sites, add shortcuts to sites (typing “cgmail” will get me to CrunchGear mail, for example, in my setup), and stats. It also warns you about malware attacks.
They’re currently seeing 27 billion queries per day – a massive number – and they’ve just hit up to seven times the average number of of account creations thus far. Why? Well, mostly because Pogue wrote about them and did a little video. I think the real draw is the free parental controsl. As we enter an era when, in short, almost everything on the Internet is porn, it’s nice to know there’s a way to limit a child’s browsing to a few pertinent sites. Basic filtering is free while more powerful filtering options are $9.95 a year for families.
Generally it’s nice to see a service like OpenDNS succeed. DNS is so boring that being able to convince thousands of people to reconfigure their computers to use a new service is a feat worthy of praise. Now if we could just get our parents to stop downloading IE toolbars and then we’ll be set.