OpenDNS - can anyone explain?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by bellgamin, Jul 19, 2007.

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  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I read about OpenDNS (forget where) so I re-set my computer to use it. It's working just fine. By the way, it's free.

    Problem is, now that I have it I realize that I don't fully understand what it is I've got. o_O

    According to their website...
    I know what DNS (domain name servers) do. I also know that my ISP (roadrunner) was doing the dns look-up function for me okay. So my questions concerning OpenDNS are as follows...

    1- What do I get with OpenDNS that I didn't have with my ISP's own dns?

    2- Is any Wilders citizen (besides me) using this service?

    3- If this service is worth anything, why is it free? If it isn't worth anything, why should I continue using it?

    4- Is there any other source for this kind of "DNS service"? Please let me know if there is -- I like to pick & choose between alternatives.

    {I googled but I couldn't find anything else EXACTLY like OpenDNS. That is, OpenDNS lets you click on whichever OS you are using, & then gives very simple instructions for re-setting your computer to their servers. The other DNS services that I visited didn't do that -- they all sounded like they are mainly designed for use by webmasters.}

    Any comments or suggestions will be muchly appreciated. *puppy*
     
  2. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    I've used it before and it was ok. Very simple to do. I quit using it because of one site that I often used was giving me trouble. It probably wasn't opendns' fault as the site was having mega problems during this time.
    Here a link to get more details and FAQs. http://www.opendns.com/support/ I have read that many people use opendns. If it is faster, stick with it.
     
  3. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    Im using it and I know a few others are using it too. Heres one thread on OpenDNS.
     
  4. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I have used it before and it's fine. Lookup speeds seem good, however my ISP DNS server speeds are also very good. I used it with Linux because I seemed to be having a problem with slow lookups for a while and I thought it might help, which it did.

    In general, I'd say that if your ISP's DNS servers are working well, and if you have no current "problems", then I'd stick with your ISP. Otherwise, use OpenDNS servers if and when you are having troubles with your ISP that you can't resolve.

    Sometimes DNS caching software can improve general performance as well..
     
  5. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    I have setup my router to use openDNS. Which means that all computers and operating systems are using it by default.
    I'm not sure if I notice any benefit with regards to lookup speed.
     
  6. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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  7. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Thanks to all. New questions...

    Is THIS an alternative?

    Has anyone actually tried it?
     
  8. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    That one is a caching name server I believe, which is a little more than just using OpenDNS servers. It's also a DNS cache. If you're going to go that route, Treewalk is the best. Here's a link:

    http://ntcanuck.com/

    I have used Treewalk with good results. You should see a little better performance then, as it will do a lookup and cache the results so next time you go there it takes only about 2 ms for the lookup. The cache is persistent and survives a reboot, unlike the Windows DNS caching service.
     
  9. Birdman

    Birdman Registered Member

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    Is Treewalk better than OpenDNS? What are the advantages?
     
  10. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    It's not so much a matter of better, Treewalk is just different than OpenDNS. All OpenDNS is (to my knowledge) is a couple of DNS servers that you can use instead of the ones your ISP provides. For some people the OpenDNS servers may be faster and more reliable, hence better.

    Treewalk uses a new set of DNS servers also, which are generally very good, PLUS, it's got DNS caching software as well. Treewalk is actually also a complete DNS server in itself for use in your home network or whatnot, so other networked PCs can use your PC as a DNS server, giving better results. But you can use Treewalk on a single PC for better DNS servers and for the persistent caching service. Win has a DNS Client service which caches lookups for you, but a reboot will lose everything. In Treewalk the cache will survive a reboot.

    At any rate, whether you need it or not really just depends on whether your ISP's DNS servers are working well or not. If you have no problems, then why bother with Treewalk or any other? But if you do have trouble with slow lookups via your ISP's servers, then Treewalk may help you. The cache is nice also. Best to read thru the Treewalk web site/page for all the info..
     
  11. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Based on Kerodo's description of TreeWalk, FastCache has somewhat similar capabilities. However, I DO plan to give Treewalk a spin, once I have finished a week or so of experience in using FastCache.

    FastCache can be configured to use ANY DNS servers that you specify. So I configured it to use the OpenDNS servers.

    FastCache makes an internal cache of DNS information right inside your own computer. It does this as you surf the internet, keeping a record of the DNS info for the URLs that you actually visit. Therefore, the url look-up for any url that you have already visited is instantaneous, because it takes place within your own computer.

    You can configure FastCache as to the minimum & maximum amount of days that it is to leave any given entry within its cache. Thus the cache is kept relatively clean of little-used entries.

    If you request a url that is NOT in FastCache's own cache, it queries the DNS servers you have designated -- in my case, I designated the OpenDNS servers. For each given query, FastCache queries both DNS servers simultaneously (both the primary & the alternate) & uses info from whichever server responds first. Of course, FastCache then adds that info to its own cache so that, the next time you want that url, FastCache gets it from its own cache.

    As of now, the sites I regularly visit are all cached by FastCache, & come up instantly. Plus I have the speed of OpenDns for the new stuff I visit. So I am more than satisfied with the speed increase.

    Kerodo -- does TreeWalk work pretty much the same, or... ?

    In any event, I do plan to try TreeWalk out. It sounds to be really really good.
     
  12. Birdman

    Birdman Registered Member

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    I just installed Treewalk....but can someone please answer the following:

    1) Does the DNS Service in XP need to be started/automatic for this program to work properly (currently manual)?

    2) Can the OpenDNS server addresses still be used....or is it best to use your regular ISP server addresses?

    3) What Firewall rule should I set the Treewalk service called named.exe to (using KIS 7)? Should I set it to "ALLOW any activity" or give it a "Browser" template setting?

    4) Any additional settings/tweaks recommended to better optimize performance.....or just stick with default?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2007
  13. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Bellgamin, to be honest, I am not sure if you can configure the DNS servers in TW, but yes, overall TW does much the same thing. Just guessing though, I would think that somehow you should be able to specify DNS servers to use in TW. But again, I never have done that, so I don't know for sure... The docs will probably help more than I can.
     
  14. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Let's see if I can answer any of your questions:

    1) You can turn of the Win DNS Client service yes. Actually Treewalk should have already done that for you.

    2) You're probably using the servers specified in the Treewalk setup now, and I'm not sure if you can specify which ones. The ones Treewalk uses should be extremely good though.

    3) Named.Exe should only need to connect out to remote port 53. If you allow "any" activity that's fine also.

    4) I pretty much used the default settings, but it's been over a year since I have used the program, so I am no expert at all. I just know it solved my DNS lookup problems when I installed it and used the default setup. I know others used it with great success also.

    I am no authority on it at all, so hopefully some of this helps you a little..
     
  15. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Since there is no Treewalk for Linux, I use Open DNS there combined with BIND for caching, in Windows, I use Treewalk, my personal feeling is that Treewalk is faster than Open DNS+BIND combo, pages open a tad faster.
     
  16. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi

    I tried AnalogX "Fast Cache", had to remove it. They say at cntrl panel network set DNS preference to 127.0.0.1 & r-click FastCache & point it to OpenDNS = no internet. Set cntrl panel > network back to OpenDNS & still pointing to OpenDNS from r-clicking fast cache, resulted in slow internet + could not r-click & configure fast cache.

    I also see AnalogX has something called 'bulkget' it was on my machine prior to fast machine any ideas what this is for?

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  17. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Personal experience:
    I have tried both Treewalk and OpenDNS to see whether it was faster:

    No real advantage for me, and, I prefer to have all cache cleaned per session.
     
  18. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I used both for a while also, and noticed that at some point my ISP seemed to have upgraded it's DNS servers so that now they are extremely fast. So I notice no real improvement with Treewalk or OpenDNS anymore either.. but for some, it does make a difference I think...
     
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