Our mission at OpenDNS is to secure our customers’ networks on any device, anytime, anywhere. Our Roaming Client product allows you to work safely off-network—at coffee shops, airports, or anywhere else you might take your laptop.

How Does the Roaming Client Work?

The Roaming Client works by securely directing DNS queries bound for the Internet to the OpenDNS global infrastructure. This process happens via one of the OpenDNS Global Network data centers distributed worldwide.

The Roaming Client allows granular filtering and reporting. These capabilities enable our customers to quickly and easily detect computers infected with malware by identifying which computers might be affected. This detection is not done easily with basic network security coverage from on-premise solutions.

The Roaming Client Utilizes Nearly Zero System Resources

Unlike an application that grows in size as it stores data, the Roaming Client doesn’t save information and therefore doesn’t add network or system latency. OpenDNS Technical Support Engineer Zack Gilman said, “The Roaming Client does not cache DNS in any way, or expand in size or footprint over the course of time. By design, DNS uses very few resources, and this is also true with the Roaming Client and with the Umbrella service. The vast majority of computational power is held within our cloud, not on the local machine.”

OpenDNS Product Manager Scott Cressman further explains, “It exists solely to get the DNS traffic to our service with the right context of from whom and where it’s coming. All the heavy lifting is done in the cloud.”

The Roaming Client is Easy to Deploy and Simple to Manage

You can deploy the Roaming Client using Active Directory, Apple Remote Desktop, or your preferred remote management tool. Often the end user doesn’t realize that the Roaming Client has been installed, as it requires no user intervention.

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Hamamatsu, a Japanese manufacturer that uses OpenDNS for network visibility and security for its U.S. offices, has installed the Roaming Client on more than 200 employee laptops. In a recent CSO article, Jim Hnasko, Hamamatsu’s Network Manager of Operations, explains, “When we deployed the agent, we expected users to complain that things were slower. We didn’t have any complaints. It was almost seamless.” In addition to an easy deployment and a solution that doesn’t add latency, Hnasko adds, “We can get reports on how many infections we have, if any, and who has them, so we can remediate the issue. We’re now proactive instead of being reactive.”

Employee Privacy with the Roaming Client

Many IT administrators struggle with being perceived as ‘Big Brother’ when their goal is simply to protect users wherever they are. Your organization can tailor a Roaming Client policy to protect employee privacy; for example, establishing a location-based policy for employees once they’re off-network, and choosing not to log non-security events, therefore maintaining off-network privacy.

OpenDNS CEO David Ulevitch explains, “A customer’s policy for their employees might be different when the employee is in the office versus when they’re out of the office. When they’re in the office, it could block all security threats and log all their websites. When they’re at home, it can be configured to only block security threats and doesn’t log what websites they visit.” Utilizing various policies for different scenarios is an easy way to both protect employee privacy as well as to fully secure devices no matter where they’re being used.

Support is Easy With the Roaming Client

The Roaming Client has remote logging and diagnostic features built in, enabling our support team to troubleshoot complex issues without end-user involvement in many cases.

The Roaming Client is a quick and easy way to ensure that your end users are protected wherever they choose to work. For technical assistance with OpenDNS’s Roaming Client, please visit the ERC support forum here. If you are an Umbrella customer interested in deploying the ERC, please review this deployment guide or contact your account manager.

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