This morning we launched a new service that will undoubtedly change the way budget-conscious network operators and IT administrators filter Web content. The system that powers the service is inspired by the success of PhishTank, our anti-phishing site, and works in a similar way. By leveraging the intelligence of our community (all of you) and our global network of servers we can provide a level Web content filtering that is robust and effective. And, like everything else we do here, we’re offering this for free.

Here’s how our game-changing system works:

People add Web sites to our system and tag them with a category. For example YouTube.com would be appropriately tagged “video sharing” and MySpace.com would be appropriately tagged “Social Networks.” Other users come along and verify the accuracy of the submitters tag by voting. Once a site crosses a predetermined threshold of votes, it gets added into the category in the OpenDNS system. All this adding and voting happens on our new Community Site – if you haven’t yet seen it, stop by and cast a few votes. Every day this system will get more and more comprehensive, thanks to the help of 100s of 1000s of IT folks who have accounts with us and the millions of OpenDNS users.

You probably already understand why this is far superior to the way security companies categorize sites and deliver filtering services, but allow me to explain briefly the three main reasons our service is better:

  • It’s more comprehensive. Our system has tens of thousands of people like you submitting and verifying the accuracy of Web sites’ inclusion in categories. This is in stark contrast to the handful of people employed for this job by security companies.
  • It’s faster moving. New Web sites and changes to existing Web sites are constantly being published to the Internet. Other Web content filtering tools update only once nightly, or even less frequently, and therefore fail to catch and categorize everything right away. OpenDNS has the advantage of tens of thousands of people adding and tagging sites at any given time, so users benefit from real-time updates.
  • It’s free to use. No longer are you forced to pay top dollar to security companies simply to protect your networks.

Log in to your dashboard now and you’ll see the new filtering categories available to you, and know it will get better and more thorough with time. We launched with just over 30 categories, but if you have a need to block a category not represented in our system let us know and we’ll be happy to accommodate.

Finally, this service (like everything else we offer) is optional and can be enabled in your free OpenDNS account. Let us know if you have any feedback, about any part of the system or how it works. We built this for you.

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