Today is a big day for OpenDNS. We announced we’re now 50 million strong. More than 50 million people around the world — from our home base in San Francisco to some of the planet’s furthest reaches — choose OpenDNS. They are Chief Security Officers at Fortune 50 enterprises, small business owners, parents looking to keep their kids safe online and people who care about having a safer, more reliable Internet experience.

It’s a big responsibility to build a service now chosen by 50 million people. That’s a lot of people. Years ago I started getting tapped on the shoulder while doing something like waiting in line wearing an OpenDNS t-shirt. “Hey, I love OpenDNS!” they’d say. It was always an incredibly cool, proud experience for me. At first it only happened in San Francisco, a hub of tech acitivity, and I figured that’s probably why. But then it started happening everywhere I travelled, all over the world. And I knew we were doing something right. Today I’m humbled by the fact that OpenDNS is chosen by 1 in 3 U.S. public schools, is running on half of all college and university campuses and so many businesses and homes.

And we’re just getting started. The culmination of several critical factors is driving massive growth for OpenDNS.

— First and foremost, demand for a faster, more reliable DNS service, provided by a trustworthy and privacy-sensitive company such as OpenDNS, continues to grow. Individuals want a DNS service they can count on for 100 percent uptime, and businesses and schools want a single, reliable DNS service for all locations that can be managed centrally.

— Second, OpenDNS has developed pioneering ways to secure Internet connections and offer an unprecedented level of control through the DNS. OpenDNS services have long blocked phishing domains, but today OpenDNS Enterprise uniquely blocks malware and renders existing malware infections unthreatening by preventing infected machines from phoning home to their command and control. This protects users, and helps businesses prevent the leakage of sensitive data from their network. The service is lightweight, easy to deploy and easy to manage. It’s one of the strongest areas of growth for OpenDNS and is being embraced by thousands of academic institutions and businesses, including some of the largest companies in the world.

— The way in which people access the Internet is changing. No longer do people connect to just one network. Today they connect not just on mobile devices, but to multiple WiFi networks in a single day using multiple devices. DNS is used in all of these access methods and we’re making that easier than ever.

Some other updates for you (a few of which have already been announced on this blog, but we’ll recap):

The lights are on at our beautiful new headquarters: If you’re in the area, drop by and visit our gorgeous new headquarters at 145 Bluxome Street. (A call first would be appreciated.)

Welcome OpenDNS Vancouver: Vancouver is a fantastic city, and full of top engineering talent. So it made a whole lot of sense for us to open up shop there. A whole lot of cool stuff if being engineered there, as I type, in fact. And we’re hiring up there, too.

DNSCrypt is changing the game: If you consider yourself a technical person, check out the preview of DNSCrypt, the OpenDNS-invented technology that’s laying the groundwork for a safer mobile Internet experience.

Strong management makes everyone stronger: I’m thrilled that we can now call Dan Hubbard our CTO (former CTO of Websense), Mark Kreitzman our head of Alliances (formerly same role at Cisco/ScanSafe — and who you should email to partner with us!) and Josh Redner (former sales leader at Good Technologies, AirMagnet and Fluke Networks) our VP of Corporate Sales.

As always, this is your OpenDNS. We always want to hear what you think of what we’re doing, and what you want us to deliver. 50 million thank yous for your support. And a dancing banana.

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