Boost Internet Connection with Quick-Responsive DNS Servers

Faster, safer, easier equals better

  OpenDNS Network Map
The famous line used by auto enthusiasts - "need for speed" - can be easily applied in the internet field as well, due to the high demand for faster internet connections. The old dial up dies slowly while broadband connections spread all over the world. Even so, no matter how much bandwidth we are provided with we will always want more.

There are numerous guides to teach the user how to tune up the PC and especially the operating system in order to increase the internet speed though one more won't harm anyone. Among the various reasons which cause the pages to load slower is the DNS response time. The Domain Name System is actually a service that converts domains into IP addresses to ease the job of a user browsing the internet. Hence, for the user's comfort, he is required to fill the address bar only with the domain name -which is easy to remember - instead of the actual IP address (something like this: 62.223.112.34).

The DNS server has the task of translating the information and to return an answer: the corresponding IP address for the domain name. As simple as it may seem, some ISPs lack fast DNS servers which involve delayed responses thus slow page loads. However, this guide is meant to offer you a viable solution. What would you say if I told you that you should get rid of your ISP's DNS servers and use someone else's?

Most of the users would impose one condition: the alternative DNS servers must be FASTER. Well, they are. I am talking about the DNS servers provided by OpenDNS. These alternative servers are meant to deliver faster DNS responses than regular ones usually provided by ISPs. By switching to OpenDNS servers - which, by the way, are free - you will access no more those provided by the ISP you are connected through, but it's worth it.

The imminent question would be: "how can I use them?" Well, it is very simple; all you have to do is to instruct your Windows to use these servers instead of the ones you are currently using as an ISP subscriber. Because most of you are using Windows XP and lately Vista is the guide on how to "teach" Windows to use the free and quick-responsive DNS servers from OpenDNS.

For Windows XP

Check the system tray. Can you see the two monitors blinking? If yes, right click on them, and from the newly appeared menu choose Status. Now go to Properties and from the Local Area Connection Properties window scroll the list until you get Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Select it and click Properties. By doing that, you've got the configuration window where IP and DNS settings can be configured. We are not interested in changing anything related to the IP address, therefore leave the settings the way they are. At the bottom, the DNS servers can be configured. By default, depending on your ISP settings, the DNS servers can be supplied automatically, which implies "Obtain DNS server address automatically" option to be checked or manually introduced. No matter which variant you discover you have to click on "Use the fallowing DNS server addresses" and in the two fields separated by dots you have to add these servers:

Preferred DNS server: 208.67.222.222
Alternate DNS server: 208.67.220.220


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After you have done that, click Ok and close until you get rid of all the opened windows. Restart your browser and visit http://welcome.opendns.com/. If the settings are correctly introduced you will get a Welcome message from OpenDNS. If you made a mistake, the page will inform you that you are not using the correct settings, therefore you have to check them again. Before doing these changes, write down the DNS servers provided by your ISP to avoid any trouble if you are not satisfied with the new DNS servers.

For Windows Vista

Well, the servers mentioned above are the same no matter what operating system you are using. Only the procedure is different from system to system. For Vista users the steps are as follows:
Go to Control Panel and double click on Network and Sharing Center. When opened, click on Manage network connections and right click on Local Area Connection then select Properties. In the next windows, "Local Area Connection Properties", select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click properties. Now things are simple. Make sure you select "Use the following DNS server addresses" and add the following information:

Preferred DNS server: 208.67.222.222
Alternate DNS server: 208.67.220.220


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Click OK and close all the windows. Restart your browser for changes to take place and open the http://welcome.opendns.com/ to see if they have been accepted. In case you get the "Oops message" it means you need to check them again or to restart the computer.

For Windows 98/ME and 2000 users the settings are the same. Locate the network connection you are using and add the aforementioned DNS servers.

Now that DNS servers have been properly configured it's time to experience faster browsing. Oh, not to forget, besides quicker DNS responses you can get more benefits when using OpenDNS servers such as:

ï¿­ Phishing websites are automatically detected and blocked when you are trying to access them which guarantees safer browsing even for those not accustomed to internet malware
ï¿­ Automatic correction for typos - when typing Softpedia.cmo thanks to these DNS servers you won't get the annoying message: "page cannot be displayed" but you will be directed to Softpedia.com.
ï¿­ Navigation is made easier because the user can create shortcuts to access faster favorite sites. For instance, wouldn't it be easier for you to type SP instead of Softpedia.com? I bet it would.

All in a nutshell this free service provided by OpenDNS can be a real time saver for the ever-in-the-hurry user that we all identify with.

2 Comments

By    29 May 2007, 12:41 GMT