Five years of OpenDNS. We’ve come so far and have much to be thankful for.

In 2005, before launching OpenDNS, I went to talk with some of the leading DNS experts to get feedback — and the feedback I received was consistent. They didn’t think what I wanted to do was even possible, and if it was possible, they didn’t think anybody would want it. Smart guys, but wrong on both counts.

Today, we are the largest DNS service in the world with more than 30,000,000 users. 30,000,000! And we’ve never had a global outage. If we were an ISP, we’d be one of the largest in the world.

We compete against Google, which launched a service following ours in 2009. And we’re winning. We compete against Symantec, a $14 billion dollar company that has watched us build market-share with consumer and enterprise customers who prefer OpenDNS as a security solution. And we make the Internet safer, faster and more reliable for more than 1% of the world’s Internet users.

We’ve done this with your help, your feedback, your evangelism, and your encouragement. And that’s why we thank you, and make sure to put you first with everything we do.

Some Major Milestones:

  • In July 2006, we opened our doors and let in the first packets, within a month, we handled a total of over 1 billion DNS queries. Today we handle over 30 billion a day.
  • In April of 2009, not quite 3 years after our launch, we handled 10 billion queries in a single day. We are supersonic at this point!
  • In the summer of 2009 — skipping our vacation — we pushed our mission of a safer, faster Internet for everyone forward with our good friends at NETGEAR to deliver Live Parental Controls and OpenDNS across millions of households.
  • 2009 ended with the launch of OpenDNS Enterprise, our service to deliver a safer Internet to businesses small and large around the world. Today we have some of the largest companies in the world on our enterprise platform.
  • In June of 2010 we discovered that 1 out of 3 public schools in the US was using OpenDNS to provide a safer and faster Internet to students across America. Today, we see over 40,000 schools around the world!
  • July 2011 welcomes our fifth birthday and our announcement that we now have more than 30,000,000 people using OpenDNS every day. And based on our numbers, the countdown to 40,000,000 isn’t far away.

The Road Ahead

We’re a startup and we move fast. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you’re heads-down, focused on an immediate product launch or set of features. In order to make sure we stay on course, we have a few perspectives shaping the decisions we make.

  • Speed and reliability matter more than ever. The number of people connected to the Internet around the world continues to grow at an astounding rate and the desire to access content quickly, safely and securely has only increased.
  • We look at the major security companies like Symantec, Websense, Blue Coat and others and see major gaps in their offerings and we think there is a better way to secure the myriad devices connecting to our customers’ networks.
  • We know that despite tons of various malware solutions in the market, they all stink for one reason or another.
  • We know that people care about privacy, but if you ask 100 people to explain what privacy means you will get 100 different answers.
  • We know there are a lot of different devices connecting to the Internet now and having custom software deployed for each version of Android, iOS, Windows or Mac is unmanageable.
  • We believe in defense in depth as the only sound security strategy and we want to help our customers practice it. We are sympathetic to the CIO who doesn’t want ten different security solutions on his or her network, but history has shown that the magical security appliance that does everything will let you down every time.

Thank You

OpenDNS is poised for even more stratospheric growth in the next five years. As a company, we are becoming more mature in our thinking, and our goals continue to expand. With each hill we climb, the horizon of our potential positive impact continues to broaden.

As an engineering-driven company, we’re lucky to have assembled such an amazing engineering organization that delivers our non-stop service. We have consistently recruited amazing people, and managed to raise the already-high bar with every new hire.

I speak for everyone on the team here when I say: Thank you for using OpenDNS!

PS, we’re running an amazing infographic of OpenDNS statistics on our homepage for a couple days, but here’s a link to it in case you miss it.

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