My ISP gave me a router with the DHCP / DNS settings hard coded. They blocked access to it, so there's no way for me to change it.

However I have a WLAN router that can do DHCP. Can I set up my WLAN's DHCP server to use OpenDNS and it will pass that on to my laptop, or will it still use the DHCP from the ISP router?

This is what it currently looks like: current setup


Yes, but you will need to configure the router to use a different network than your ISP's router.

If the address you get from your ISP router is, say 10.1.x.x, then configure your wireless router to use, say, network 192.168.1.x.

Of course the other option you have is to manually configure DNS on your clients.

  • Thank you very much. This fixed it completely well for me. (Had to install Tomato on my router because the default linksys firmware only allows the 192.168.1.x network) – jao Jan 9 '12 at 22:35

Don't make life so complex.

You don't have to come up with a Heath Robinson mechanism involving multiple routers and subnets.

Your DHCP clients are not compelled to make use of the IP addresses for DNS servers that the DHCP server in your ISP's router is handing out to them. Just tell them to ignore the provided IP addresses and use DNS servers of your own choosing instead. In Windows NT, for example, this is as simple as switching from "obtain DNS server IP addresses automatically" to "use the following DNS server IP addresses". With ISC's DHCP client, a simple noption domain_name_servers or even nohook resolv.conf in the configuration file will do the same thing.

For best results, don't replace a proxy DNS server that is only a hop or two away from you (your ISP's proxy DNS server) with one that is a lot more hops further away beyond that (OpenDNS). Run your own local forwarding proxy DNS server on one or all of your machines, and tell it to forward to OpenDNS's proxy DNS servers.

Further reading

  • The drawback to this is that you have to make a manual change to every client on your network or everyone that connects to in the future. This may or may not be an issue for the OP. – uSlackr Jan 9 '12 at 15:29
  • I don't want to change it everytime in my laptops and phone – jao Jan 9 '12 at 15:39
  • Then don't change it every time. It only needs the change making once, after all. As I said, stop making your life so complex. – JdeBP Jan 9 '12 at 21:03
  • No, uSlackr. You haven't thought this through. If someone else connects to the network then either (a) xe is happy with what the ISP's router is handing out in the DHCP leases and does nothing at all, or (b) xe too wants something other than the ISP's DNS service and will have to change things anyway. The same goes for the existing machines. They're going to be changed anyway, once, because otherwise things will simply continue in the state that the questioner doesn't want them. There are no extra changes needed here, and none of the complexity of the questioner's notion. – JdeBP Jan 9 '12 at 21:11
  • Perhaps I am missing this. If OP sets up his wireless as I suggested, and configures DHCP to hand out the right settings, won't any any new PC/laptop that joins get the right settings without being touched? I agree that he will only have to touch the machine once if it stays put. But say he has a laptop that he takes to & from a coffee shop. Won't he have to make manual changes when he comes back home? (I feel I'm missing something which isn't unusual) – uSlackr Jan 17 '12 at 18:30

Yes, You should be able to make the same changes to your WLAN router. It will then pass out its DNS entries to the the clients, or resolve DNS on their behalf. Just ensure the subnet the router uses isn't the same as the one your ISPs router uses. Common subnets are, or

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