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Looking at signing up for http://www.opendns.com/start/ but was hoping someone who has used it can shed some light.

Basically, where privacy is concered, OpenDNS will know each and every website you go to correct?

Do they have access to all the data that is transfered also or just the domain/ip's you visit?

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I've used OpenDNS and really like it. DNS is basically just a phonebook service for URLs. You give it a url (well, domain name) and it gives you back the IP address. That does mean OpenDNS will have knowledge of every domain you've visited, but right now your ISP does so it's just shifting who knows that information. The actual conversation does not go through OpenDNS so they won't see anything but the requests for domain names.

The primary advantage of OpenDNS is that it can be used to filter domains based on the sort of information that resides there. This is especially useful if you have kids in the house. Just check the box and any attempt to go to a porn site (playboy.com) will end up at a page explaing that it is blocked and why. There are dozens of categories to choose from and you can explicity opt in/out of any domain as well.

Setup is very simple and if you do so with your router, will automatically apply to every machine in the network.

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DNS is a little like a phone book - you use it for lookups, but your data does not pass through them. So it would just be the latter. There's a load of decent public DNS servers as an alternative, or you could run our own- the main advantage of OpenDNS is their filtering system IMO

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This question is about OpenDNS, but since Google (also) offers a competing service, it might also help to understand their DNS resolution "product":

from https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns/

The DNS protocol is an important part of the web's infrastructure, serving as the Internet's phone book: every time you visit a website, your computer performs a DNS lookup. Complex pages often require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading, so your computer may be performing hundreds of lookups a day.

and

Google Public DNS is a free, global Domain Name System (DNS) resolution service, that you can use as an alternative to your current DNS provider.

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  • Your answer doesn't help resolve the question. Can you redo this answer to help answer the question? If not, you may get negative or no votes for this attempt.
    – Lizz
    Mar 11 '13 at 15:37
  • It does help me. I think the two (OpenDNS and Google's DNS service) have much in common, and hence it's important for a deeper understanding to understand them both; what I quoted is Google's self-description or succinct (and still superficial) answer to the corresponding question... Mar 11 '13 at 15:44

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