21 September 2008

OpenDNS

In lieu of the recent DNS vulnerability I decided to start using a third party DNS service. My home ISP is Comcast which I believe fixed their servers fairly quickly. But at work we use our own DNS servers which took a little bit longer to get patched. So I decided to give OpenDNS a try. Aside from its patched vulnerability, it provides some cool features. Some of these include:
  • web filtering by category
  • large DNS cache
  • statistical reports
  • custom site allow/block
  • url shortcuts
These services are provided for free, but are supported by Google search results that appear when an invalid web address is entered.

I have been using this service for a couple of months and it works great. The only problem I have had was due to a poor internet registrar that I use. I have a domain name registered at 1and1.com which I use with Google apps. Occasionally 1and1's DNS servers return a SERVFAIL error to OpenDNS when I attempt to access my registered domain. I contacted OpenDNS support and though I was given a prompt response I was told that 1and1 was to blame. When I contacted 1and1 they of course told me that OpenDNS was to blame.

I have heard many bad things about 1and1 before but had never had any problems with them until now. Although they offer the cheapest rates and free whois guard, they only allow up to five subdomains per account (not per domain). So I decided to switch to namecheap.com for my domain registration. Although NameCheap is slightly more expensive and also charges extra for whois guard they include dynamic DNS and up to fifty subdomains.

To see if your DNS is vulnerable you can use the DNS checker offered by doxpara.com.


$9.69 Domain name registration at namecheap.com


Use OpenDNS

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