Hi, I’m Alexander Harrison, a customer support representative here at OpenDNS. My job is to ensure that all of your questions and challenges are met with the answers needed to get OpenDNS working for you. In this blog post, I’ve compiled the top five questions that come in to our team, as well as the necessary steps to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.

5: Filtering was set to High/Medium, and now Facebook and other HTTPS sites are making many errors. Does OpenDNS work with HTTPS sites?

The reason you’re seeing certificate errors is because the webpage you intended to visit is being blocked by the current filtering settings. When a web page is blocked, you’ll see the OpenDNS Block Page instead of the website you intended to visit, and in most modern web browsers this will produce a security prompt for a *.opendns.com certificate error. The error will look similar to one of the images below:

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 2.05.35 PM

This notification indicates that the SSL certificate for the secure site has been loaded, and that the OpenDNS block page doesn’t match your intended page. This is expected when blocking HTTPS web pages. Many of these errors can be bypassed or ignored in order to see the standard OpenDNS block page by using our Certificate Error Mitigation Instructions.

4: OpenDNS is set up, but it is only working on one or some of the computers on the network.

There are many ways to successfully configure OpenDNS. Sometimes when the network is configured, old DNS settings need to be cleared from some of the computers on the network. We’ve set up a guide to assist with this process. The guide addresses what to do when just one computer is filtering as a result of manually configuring the computer but skipping the configuration of the router. We also explain what to do when just one computer or device isn’t working due to otherwise configured DNS settings on the computer that need to be removed before filtering will work on it. Some programs like Comcast ConstantGuard automatically override OpenDNS settings—and either need to be configured not to do this, or will need to be removed. Instructions for how to do this are provided in the aforementioned guide.

3: I want to block most social networking, but allow Facebook (keeping everything else blocked).

Great news: OpenDNS has such a feature! Since the social networking category needs to remain blocked in order to block other social networking sites, you will need to create an exception to allow Facebook alone. To do this, you will need to add the domain “facebook.com” to your account’s whiltelist (or Allow List). Note that you are adding “facebook.com” rather than “www.facebook.com.” It is important to add this domain without the “www.” to see it unblocked correctly. For more detailed steps, see our guide for adding domains to the whitelist/blacklist for the OpenDNS Dashboard. (Enterprise accounts: see this Umbrella Dashboard guide.)

What about allowing YouTube while still blocking video sharing? This can be done in the same way by adding “youtube.com” to the whitelist. The same goes for your favorite sports site like ESPN (add espn.com, espn.go.com to the whitelist), and so on.

2: I set up OpenDNS and it was working great, but one day it suddenly stopped working. Why?

Since most Internet providers give users a dynamic IP address, chances are that the public IP address for your network has changed. Have no fear, OpenDNS has a program – the Dynamic IP Updater Client – specifically for  updating your IP address when it changes. The program is available here. (Note that the Updater works best when installed on a computer that stays at home.) Updates can also be made manually by clicking the green circular icon by the network which needs to be updated.

To confirm that the IP is up to date, match the IP address listed at the top of your Dashboard with the one registered to your network. If they match, your filters will apply. If not, you will need to update them before changes will apply. If your network says “Inactive,” please contact OpenDNS Support.

If the filters have been off for more than a few days, you’ll also need to flush your DNS cache to ensure that the filters fully apply right away. Please see Clearing the DNS Cache on Computers and Servers for more information.

1: And now, the top reason for opening a ticket as tallied by our support team:  “I registered my network and set up filters, and even installed the OpenDNS Updater client… but it isn’t working.”

Since OpenDNS is a DNS-based filtering solution, you won’t be able to install it like a program. The fastest way to test to see if OpenDNS’s DNS servers have been configured on your computer is to visit http://welcome.opendns.com and look for a big orange check mark for success.

If you see an “X,” OpenDNS still needs to be configured before the filters and statistics will work. Our set-up guide can be found here.  We recommend configuring OpenDNS on your router so that each device on your network is covered by changing this one setting; however, individual configuration is possible by choosing to configure a computer from these options.

If you see a check mark but filtering has not been enabled, chances are the answer to your question can be found at our troubleshooting settings page. This page also provides the necessary steps to resolve the case in which some, but not all, computers are filtering.

What about statistics? After filtering is enabled, stats will still take a few hours to first appear, and should start appearing by the following day at the latest. If no stats appear after one day, the best way to resolve this is to contact OpenDNS support with your results from our diagnostic test tool.

These are the top five support questions we receive on a daily basis. After reviewing our top 5 most popular support requests, you are now an honorary support agent and can resolve the questions most frequently asked of OpenDNS support—congrats!

(Don’t be a stranger though—if you’re having trouble, we’re always here to help!) 

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