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I love OpenDNS and use it on my devices whenever I can to speed up DNS lookups. However, there's one situation (not its fault) where it consistently causes me grief.

Public hotspots such as those at Starbucks, hotels, or airports, often have annoying login pages that require you to agree to terms before you can access the internet. I don't know the exact details of how they work, but they seem to intercept traffic to all sites (such as google, yahoo, whatever) and redirect you to a local login server.

If I use the DHCP-specified DNS settings at the free hotspots, everything works fine. However, if my network interface is configured to use OpenDNS instead of the DHCP-specified dns servers, I never get redirect to the login page and I'm unable to use the internet until I remove the OpenDNS servers from my configuration. Presumably the same thing would happen with Google's public DNS servers as well, although I haven't verified this.

Is there a way to configure Mac OS X to allow me to use both the DHCP-provided DNS servers as well as the the OpenDNS ones (eg. prefer OpenDNS but fallback on DHCP settings if necessary)? Or is there some other way to get these public hotspots to cooperate better with OpenDNS?

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I'd bet you'd have better luck asking on the OpenDNS forums. –  Sasha Chedygov Aug 25 '10 at 20:52

2 Answers 2

It's probably timing out on the DNS request. Have you tried just putting an IP address into the browser address box?

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This would probably work. Memorize an IP address of someplace such as www.google.com and you should get the redirect. –  churnd Aug 26 '10 at 10:38

You could try installing a small caching DNS server (I'd suggest dnsmasq, but it uses text file configuration, which you may or may not be comfortable with).

You should be able to set it up to use both DHCP-provided DNS servers and any that you specify (i.e. OpenDNS), however you may have to configure it to send DNS requests to all servers simultaneously (this is possible with dnsmasq).

Incidentally, dnsmasq also makes it easy to block the OpenDNS 'landing page' whenever you mistype a URI, with the bogus-nxdomain option.

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