Tech-Friendly: OpenDNS — Malware blocker, faster surfing

By Paul Gorski

OpenDNS is one of the best free Internet security services available to home users today. While not perfect, it does a great job at what it aims to do, help provide a more secure Internet.

Some background information first. The Domain Name System (DNS) is the Internet system by which easily recognized names like are matched to their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, for example is a service that: 1) provides faster common name to IP address matching and 2) checks browsed Internet addresses against a list of known adware, identity theft and other malicious websites. OpenDNS filters your Internet traffic so you don’t land on known malware websites.

OpenDNS offers three levels of free protection for the home user. To enable the first level of support, simply set up your computer to use the OpenDNS DNS servers and you’ll have slightly faster browsing and basic protection against known malware sites. No sign-up required.

OpenDNS FamilyShield adds more protection and is “pre-configured to block adult content” just by signing up for the service. OpenDNS Home adds more protection by allowing you to customize a variety of preset category filters for expanded security. And yes, paid levels of service are also available for home and business users.

You can easily protect all the computers, iPads, tablets and more on your home network, too. Update your home router’s DNS settings with the OpenDNS server numbers and all the computing devices on your network will have the OpenDNS protection.

Learn more about these free home solutions at: Instructions for configuring an individual computer or a home network to use the OpenDNS service may be found at:

OpenDNS is not a substitute for antivirus software, but the two should work very well together.

Paul Gorski ( has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple IIe.

From the June 26-July 2, 2013, issue

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