I live in Istanbul and loads of websites are banned here by the government. In order to be able to enter the banned sites like YouTube, some of my friends are using a specific DNS server address instead of obtaining DNS server address automatically. In that way they can bypass the ban. The addresses are as follows:

Preferred DNS server:
Alternate DNS server:

My question is, if I change my setting like this, will I have any disadvantages?

  • @mehper, your question is NOT Windows specific. Hence, akira was right removing that tag. I rolled back the rollback you did.
    – Arjan
    Nov 3 '09 at 18:20

These are OpenDNS name servers, a company located in the USA, which earns money by placing ads and selling data. So, you will have two disadvantages:

  • The data about your Internet usage will be given to the US police and not the Turkish one. It will be sold to US companies, too.
  • You will be redirected to ad Web sites should you make a typo in a Web address, even if the parent domain exists.
  • Excuse me, but are you using OpenDNS? Everytime I mistype an address (and if it is not autocorrected or 'guessed') I get redirected to the OpenDNS-Search-Engine.
    – Bobby
    Oct 16 '09 at 10:40
  • No, I'm not using it, for the reasons I explained.
    – bortzmeyer
    Oct 16 '09 at 12:18
  • 2
    I do hope you did not mind me editing your answer. It was just a bit too negative/'biased' of OpenDNS.
    – Josh Hunt
    Oct 16 '09 at 12:50
  • Selling user data and redirection are the default behavior. From what I understand from here, blogs.law.harvard.edu/hroberts/2008/09/07/…, both of them can be prevented by unchecking "Enable OpenDNS proxy". I think Ulevitch is spinning the TOS a tad since IP address is definitely user info and the TOS clause leaves plenty of room for future commercial exploitation, but being able to prevent both makes this a non-issue.
    – hyperslug
    Oct 16 '09 at 16:03
  • While OpenDNS is located in the USA, they maintain servers in various places outside the USA, such as in Europe and Japan. The legal ramifications of this may be more complex than your answer states. I'm not a lawyer and wouldn't know. Regards speed, I did test and found the OpenDNS servers considerably faster than my own ISP's provided servers. But obviously, your milage may vary.
    – emgee
    Nov 3 '09 at 18:18

Aside from having slightly higher latency due to longer DNS roundtrips, not really. OpenDNS admins might see that increased traffic and block you if this "trick" gets too popular, though.

However, using different DNS servers will not prevent your Internet use from being logged somewhere for later law enforcement use or being blocked by a firewall.

  • Why would OpenDNS block one for using their services?
    – Arjan
    Oct 16 '09 at 12:44
  • Yeah, it makes no sense for OpenDNS to block you.
    – Josh Hunt
    Oct 16 '09 at 12:50
  • I've found OpenDNS consistently faster than my own ISP's DNS servers.
    – emgee
    Nov 3 '09 at 19:14

As for Privacy, the use of OpenDNS might not be the most recommended method, I admit. However, they can sometime be very useful for checking the changes done to records in a zone file. I am also sure that OpenDNS logs a lot of information about your requests and builds statistical data they can resell. But, having had problems with my ISP DNS servers, I had no choice but to switch to another DNS server. I chose OpenDNS, and since then, I had no internet outage due to DNS failures from my ISP. I admin, there can be other alternative solutions to this.

Also, keep in mind that using a different DNS server may cause some delays at the first connection, since the first DNS server to be contacted will be remote while the one from your local ISP will likely be only two hops away.

However, if you're brave enough to lay with your settings, you can set OpenDNS or other third-party DNS as secondary DNS server.


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