OpenDNS note: Mike was one of our first users. He turned us on way back in July!
OpenDNS: How did you first learn what DNS stands for?
ML: Hard to remember exactly when. I’ve been very interested in working with computers for over ten years now. I will admit though that up until maybe just a year or two ago, I never put much thought into the performance of the DNS servers that I used. I always just used the ones provided to me by my ISP, without knowing I had choices in the DNS servers I used, or that there were better ones out there.
OpenDNS: What improvements has OpenDNS made to your Internet experience?
ML: Faster DNS lookup times, and the reliability of the DNS servers, would be the most immediate and noticeable improvement. My ISP that I get my cable modem service from has been growing greatly over the last several years, and over the last year especially has been adding new customers at an extraordinary rate. Maybe about 6 to 8 months ago I first started to experience problems with my ISP’s DNS servers. I started repeatedly receiving failed DNS lookups to websites that I knew to be working. I didn’t narrow the problem down to DNS for a few days really, and only did after I had eliminated the possibility of it being a new Firefox bug or a wrong setting in my network somewhere. I finally realized the problem was in fact my ISP’s DNS servers as it was only occurring at peak times, at nights and on weekends, times when the majority of my ISP’s customers were all online, and the DNS servers were being overloaded. I first started using a local network DNS program called TreewalkDNS to resolve the issue, which did eliminate my problems, and then several months later I read a news story on CNET about the launching of OpenDNS. The same day I uninstalled TreewalkDNS to give OpenDNS a try, and have never switched back.
OpenDNS: What advice would you offer to other geeks considering switching to OpenDNS?
ML: Just give it a try. It’s very easy to start using, OpenDNS.com provides very easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, with pictures even, on how to start using OpenDNS on all operating systems and in hardware routers. There’s no software to install, so operating system compatibility is not even an issue. The instructions are very easy to follow even for an average or even sub-average computer user. You will more then likely notice the difference immediately, and if not, you can just switch back to your ISP’s DNS servers at any time. But once you try OpenDNS, you won’t be switching back.
OpenDNS: Is OpenDNS really “Safer, Faster and Smarter” like we claim?
ML: Absolutely. Not only is OpenDNS more reliable then my ISP’s DNS servers, it is considerably faster. I achieve faster DNS lookups using OpenDNS then I did even while using TreewalkDNS. It has made every part of my internet use faster, from web browsing to instant messaging to anti-virus updates. And it is definitely safer as well. The latest versions of both Firefox and Internet Explorer now have built-in phishing protection, but these rely on an internet server to provide the list of known phishing websites. OpenDNS’s filtering of known phishing sites at the DNS level is smarter, because it can not go down without your entire DNS going down too, which has never happened. Not even once in all my time using OpenDNS. And it is also faster in this area, connecting to one server for both your DNS and your phishing protection and at the same time. Without a doubt, OpenDNS is safer, is faster, and is smarter.
OpenDNS: What’s the hardest part about being a geek?
ML: People automatically assuming I can fix any problem with their computer no matter what it is – and do it quickly. Anyone with experience fixing computers knows this is not always the case, but I try my best.