Today we announced one of the most significant DNS innovations of the last 25 years. SmartCache, our new DNS record-handling technology, renders frustrating authoritative DNS outages irrelevant for OpenDNS users. It’s both incredibly simple and invaluable to Internet users.

Here’s how it works: When an authoritative DNS provider suffers an outage, all of the Web sites it provides service to are taken offline. They’re inaccessible for everyone on the Internet. But no longer for OpenDNS users. Our servers will now immediately look for the last known good address for the site in our caches, and use that to load the site. So effectively OpenDNS users will be able to access Web sites that appear down for everyone else. For our millions of users at businesses, schools and libraries around the world, saving them Internet access interruptions and the time they waste is invaluable.

Authoritative DNS outages happen frequently and can be a big problem. Just a few weeks ago, it’s reported that major authoritative DNS provider UltraDNS suffered an outage that took, and offline for several hours. In such a case, SmartCache would fix the inaccessibility problem and allow people to visit the sites through the outage.

This is just the latest in a long series of DNS innovations we’ve developed and passed on to you. Most recently it was blocking the Conficker worm from phoning home. By blocking the domain names the worm used, we were and continue to be able to protect people around the globe. Trust that we’re committed to continue to innovate and give you easy-to-use services that make your Internet experience better.

SmartCache is available immediately as an opt-in feature. Just log in to your dashboard and look for the check box in your Advanced Settings. For those tech geeks, this only applies to queries where the authoritative server hands back a SERVFAIL response code in addition to any query that simply goes unanswered.

Let us know what you think of the new feature in the comments here.

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