Today, Google announced their Public DNS offering. It is a valiant effort to speed up the web and make it safe for all of us on the web. The fact is, OpenDNS started this trend four years ago today. Was it a coincidence that this happened? I’m not entirely sure it wasn’t.
Users who want to try out the new Google DNS servers can change their DNS settings to 220.127.116.11 or 18.104.22.168. If you would like to use OpenDNS, visit their website and create a free account or just change your DNS settings to 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199. Personally, I like using the free account because you have access to the dashboard and can tweak your experience.
Now the question comes down to what you should use. This is entirely up to you. Since I prefer OpenDNS here’s a quick outline of what it does that Google doesn’t.
1. OpenDNS let’s you define your experience. You can choose what to block, not block, and allow or not allow to be seen. Google doesn’t do any of that. Yes, they both offer some measure of phishing and malware blocking and other nefarious sites, but OpenDNS gives you much more control whereas Google does not. You can go back and see your peak internet usage, what sites are most popular, even what types of traffic are most popular. For a computer geek like myself, it’s pretty cool.
2. Google claims their site is better because there is no ads. On OpenDNS you only see ads if you try to navigate to a domain that doesn’t exist. If there are other ads I don’t know. Since I use Firefox with adblock I never see the ads anyway. Remember, Google is the largest advertiser on the Internet. Do you think your data, even anonymously, won’t be used to increase their smarts to deliver more and better ads?
3. By using OpenDNS instead of using Google you are using one less thing from the Google Giant. While I love Google, I don’t have to use everything they offer. I like Google Chrome and think it’s an awesome browser. I also use Google Talk, Google Analytics, Google Mail, Google Voice and Google Webmaster Tools. I use a lot of Google stuff, maybe too much. At least, in this one aspect, I’ll use something else that just happens to be, in my opinion, better.
One positive thing out of all this is that Joe Clickpack has become aware, for at least a fleeting moment, about DNS. The average end user has no idea there even is a DNS or just how important it is to making the Internet work. Maybe, just maybe, they will wonder what this is all about and realize that there is a better option to their ISP’s DNS. No matter what you choose, either Google or OpenDNS, as long as you choose one of them that will be better then using your ISPs. And that, my friend, is a difference.