Saturday, October 17, 2009

Use OpenDNS to protect your children


Use OpenDNS

OpenDNS is a FREE internet service designed to make web browsing safer and faster. It works by caching web pages on its massive servers so that when you access a web address it will generally load faster. OpenDNS also has some features that make web browsing much safer, especially for children and families.

Setup and Use

Setting up the DNS server is simple. The OpenDNS website provides instructions for most common types of modems and routers as well as generic instructions for setup. Setting up the service involves setting your router or modem to use the "Static DNS" addresses provided by OpenDNS. (A DNS is the numeric address behind the usual words you type in a website's address; it's like the "phone number" your computer looks up when accessing a particular website). What's going on is that you are telling your modem or router that instead of going straight to a website, it will first go through OpenDNS's server, to make that website load faster. Once the service is setup, there's nothing more you have to do. It works automatically in the background and you may even notice that many web pages load faster than they did before.

Shortcut Features

Since OpenDNS is the service actually routing you to the website, there are some nice features you can set up. (Settings can be accessed via a "Dashboard" control panel; this requires registering with OpenDNS, which is free but still optional.) OpenDNS provides some built in "auto correct" features. For example, if you typed gogle.com or google.cmo, OpenDNS will fix the address automatically and send you to google.com.

OpenDNS also allows you to make shortcuts. For example, instead of typing in www.wikipedia.com/en each time, you can simply make a shortcut from your OpenDNS dashboard settings for something like "wp." Then, simply typing "wp"in your address bar will be enough to load the page.

Security and Filtering Features

Perhaps the most useful service that OpenDNS provides is website filtering. (Available only to registered users). OpenDNS has cataloged and categorized most websites. Many are tagged with such labels as "Adult, Nudity, Violence, Gambling" and many others. Using your OpenDNS dashboard settings, you can select from several standard levels of filtering or customize your filtering from over 50 categories. If any computer that is connected to your network surfs to a website that is blocked, an OpenDNS blocked page will appear instead of the website informing you that the page is not available and listing the categories for which it is blocked. It is possible to exclude certain addresses from being blocked. This is probably the best option for web filtering for parents who want to keep their children from stumbling across bad sites!

In addition, OpenDNS catalog of sites will keep you from visiting false or phishing websites (sites that look real but are fake in order to steal your personal information).

OpenDNS is not perfect. In Firefox, for example, the Google Autosearch feature of the address bar will take you to the OpenDNS search results, instead of Google's top pic. But this is a very tiny inconvenience compared to the service OpenDNS offers.

OpenDNS is a great service that is entirely FREE! (It's supported by advertising on searches and redirected mis-typed sites). It helps speed up web browsing while at the same time protecting you and keeping the Web controlled in a way that works for you and your family.

Give it a try today! www.opendns.com

2 comments:

Justin Davis said...

I agree, but I'm not so sure about what you said at the beginning. Where are you getting your information? I'm not disagreeing, but I'm just wondering how you came to that conclusion.

Justin Davis
Author does not represent the position of LSI, which screens content as an internet filter to K-12 institutions.

Susieqtpie said...

Hi Justin

I'm sorry what exactly are you referring too? thankx!

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