If you feel that your Internet connection and surfing speed is sluggish and slow at times, even though you’re using high speed cable modems or DSL broadband Internet access, it may be because that you’re using your Internet service provider’s DNS services by default, which may be slow. DNS or Domain Name System is a service that stores, associates, translates and resolves the easy-to-remember domain names or human addresses of websites and servers (e.g. yahoo.com, google.co.in) to the hard-to-remember IP addresses or numerical address used by computers (e.g. 188.8.131.52), which is needed for a Web browser to locate the server on the Web to fulfill user’s requests.
DNS is such an integral part of our Internet life working behind the scenes every time we connect to a website. In most situations, our Internet Service Provider specifies the DNS Server address that we key into the browser network settings or the router.
Unfortunately, this can prove to be the weakest link in the entire work flow. For example, if the DNS server of your ISP is slow, the time it takes to resolve the web address adds up to the overall loading time of the website.
The resolution and workaround to slow ISP’s DNS resolver is use a third party DNS resolver such as OpenDNS. The advantages of the OpenDNS are that OpenDNS runs on a big and smart cache contributed by activities of the broader OpenDNS user base, beside also runs on a high-performance network which is geographically distributed and serviced by several redundant connections, so that any DNS query request will be reliably responded from nearest location.
How to configure Open DNS addresses in your computer :
Double-click the “My Computer” icon on your desktop, or select the “Start” menu and click “My Computer.”
Click “Dialup Networking.” A window will open that displays all of your current dial-up connections.
Select the dial-up connection you typically use and right-click it. In the pop-up menu that appears, click “Properties.” A window listing your connection options will appear on the screen.
Click the tab that reads “Server Types.” Press “TCP/IP Settings.” Click the radio button against “Use the following DNS addresses” and enter these two ip addresses, one as preferred DNS and the other as alternate DNS
Other advantages of Open DNS :
Unlike the DNS servers of your less reliable ISP, OpenDNS servers store the IP addresses of millions of websites in their cache so it would take less time to resolve your requests. So if you have asked for an IP address of a website that has been previously requested by another OpenDNS user, you will get the reply instantly.
Another huge advantage of using OpenDNS is that it blocks phishing websites from loading on your computer. It uses data from Phishtank, a community site that is also used by Yahoo! Mail to determine if some particular website is part of any online phishing scam.
OpenDNS also takes care of any typos that you commit while typing the name of popular websites. For instance, if you type www.gogle.com omitting the additional “o” by mistake, OpenDNS will open the main www.google.com site automatically.
If you are a parent worried about kids visiting adult websites on the home computer, you can configure OpenDNS to block any adult website from loading on the computer. In fact, quite a few business places use OpenDNS to block social sites like MySpace and Facebook on employee computers.
Power users can assign abbreviations or OpenDNS Shortcuts to access their favourite websites more quickly.
For instance, you can set “mail” as a shortcut for http://mail.google.com/ or something like “a” for www.reallylongname.com – just type the shortcut to access the site. A good alternative for browser based bookmarks and it works across all computers where you have logged in to your OpenDNS account.