OpenDNS is the leading provider of Internet security and DNS services. OpenDNS gives you the tools to create a safe network for your family by protecting against inappropriate, phishing, and malware sites. OpenDNS is a powerful tool for businesses, and offers the same quality services for home users.
A. OpenDNS Family Shield
The quickest and easiest way in setting up a safe network is by setting your router’s DNS settings to use OpenDNS’ servers. They blocks adult websites and harmful phishing sites, the filter is always up to date.
B. OpenDNS Home
From your dashboard, add your network. Once your network has been added, select it and setup the filters.
I have found that, although the filters really work, they block some safe sites that have been categorized as “bad”. Play around with the settings, and if all else fails, make an exception to the blocked domain list. It may take a minute or two for your changes to be reflected on their servers.
Last but not least, download their DNS Updater and install it on your computers. The updater keeps your OpenDNS account settings synced with your dynamic IP address. Visit their test page to make sure everything is setup correctly.
Mobile Devices: This is where “upgrade to add more networks” comes into play. Say you take your laptop with you to Panera (awesome bread) and connect to their free Wi-Fi, the DNS updater will update with Panera’s IP address and your network at home will start conflicting with your connection. Recommendation, do not install the updater on any device which often leaves your network, only change their DNS settings to use OpenDNS’ Family Shield, but install the updater on all computers (mobile or static) which stay within your network; however, if you upgrade to their premium services, which, at $20/year is hard to pass up, you can add more networks and not worry about mobile devices.
What is DNS? (From their KB)
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a crucial component to the Internet. Most Internet users never know they are using the DNS, or that they do so hundreds of times per day. The DNS makes the Internet user-friendly and viable; without it, the Internet would not be the ever-present, global phenomenon it is today.
The DNS is most easily understood as an address book for websites. It is responsible for translating the website names and email addresses of all organizations, governments and private entities into IP addresses, which are combinations of numbers that are difficult for people to remember, but necessary for computers to communicate with each other. When your computer needs to talk with the computer of a website, it uses the DNS to identify and find that website’s computer.
For example, when you entered the Web address www.opendns.com, your computer connected to the DNS and found that the computer of the OpenDNS website is at the address 18.104.22.168. Your computer can now interact with the OpenDNS computer systems as you navigate around our website.