This tutorial is to guide you, the user, in changing your DNS address to (hopefully) a better alternative. OpenDNS
, one of said alternatives, will be used as our main example but there are many others out there. Now while OpenDNS is great, it isn't for everyone: The best way to find the best one for you is to consult the link in the tutorial for a list of alternatives and choose the best (testing one yourself first hand here is key). OpenDNS is a free, powerful, and easy to use DNS alternative best suited for people in the US and London areas
Here is a direct quote from their site:
OpenDNS is the leading provider of free security and infrastructure services that make the Internet safer through integrated Web content filtering, anti-phishing and DNS. OpenDNS services enable consumers and network administrators to secure their networks from online threats, reduce costs and enforce Internet-use policies. OpenDNS is used today by millions of users and organizations around the world.
Now the question that you may ask is how this may benefit you? Well the default DNS server provided by ISPs tend to be slower than OpenDNS because of promotional offers included in said servers or the ISP doesn't have a good quality server to begin with (would Verizon please stand up?). This means that by using OpenDNS not only will your surfing be generally faster but any promotional offers that said ISP might try to spam you with or any phishing attacks will be blocked. To summarize, OpenDNS provides an all around better web experience PLUS its free so why not give it a try?
Now with all good stories there are two sides. With the advantages that I have described, there are disadvantages. Now while I could myself describe what these are, I felt that a fellow member by the name of Charles Kane did it better than I could have with his scenario given. Please read this quote given and all credit goes to him for this part:
Now to setup OpenDNS (or your other alternative) is rather easy and can be accomplished in less than a couple of minutes...
1. Anyone can use OpenDNS safely.
2. Free optional registration with OpenDNS enables the control panel which allows you to use preset content filtering, whitelisting and blacklisting of websites.
3. OpenDNS claims surfing speed and stability improvements. Speed may be enhanced with the centralized caching of internet addresses. The benefits of this claim should be weighed against your location (OpenDNS has 8 servers in the US and one in London with one planned for Hong Kong), the quality of your own ISPs caching, and particularly whether your ISP is using any particular servers to provide improved speeds in the seving of content.
As an example, for an Australian, the OpenDNS resolvers are at least 12 hops away (roughly 200ms) and the local server a maximum 4 hops (about 40ms) so the benefits may be reduced. Speed improvements for sites cached by your ISPs servers, especially common sites, are likely to be insignificant as network latency dominates DNS resolution time. The Pacific Ocean is the problem.
High quality ISPs (such as many of those in Australia), especially those that provide additional benefits such as Akamai delivered content delivered from servers within the local network will also be a major consideration. Akamai delivered content may be particularly important with streaming video and audio and big downloads (including Microsoft Download and Microsoft Update).
OpenDNS may give the greatest benefits if you are with a crappy ISP, relatively close to OpenDNS servers, if you want the benefits of their user control panel (filtering), or mainly access addresses unlikely to be cached by your ISP. OpenDNS server provision in North America makes OpenDNS particularly attractive for North American users.