Before we start, it's a good idea to get a basic understanding of how DNS works. When you type in a URL such as www.techquark.com, that URL needs to be translated into a numeric IP address that Web servers and Internet routers can understand. When you type in a URL, a DNS server does the translation.
If there's a delay in contacting the DNS server, or if the DNS server takes too much time resolving the address, you'll face a delay in getting to a Web site. So even if you've got the world's fattest pipe, your Web surfing will be slowed down.
To solve this problem, we look at a simple and reliable service called OpenDNS that speeds up your Internet connection and also handles some other very important issues. There are no software to install, it’s very easy to set up and the price is just right - $0.
To use OpenDNS, all you have to do is open your Network Connections or Router’s settings page and update the default DNS server to point to the OpenDNS nameservers that are 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11.
The whole process takes a few seconds but with this single step alone, you just made your computer safer and increased the overall browsing speed. 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.
Now that you are prepared to switch to OpenDNS, please don’t expect huge gains in browsing speed since OpenDNS only improves the cycle between your computer and the DNS server.
And do keep handy the old DNS settings given by your ISP as you may need them in the extreme scenario when OpenDNS system goes down or you want to disable / remove OpenDNS completely from your computer.