You may not be aware of it, but when you accessed the Internet to read this page, you were already using DNS. In fact, you use it every day on the Internet. In order to access the Internet every router, modem, smart phone and computer uses DNS. By default most networks use the DNS services provided by their internet service provider (ISP). OpenDNS is alternative DNS service that can replace your ISP’s DNS.
Why would you use OpenDNS rather than your ISP’s DNS? Our service provides faster, more reliable DNS that prevents access to domains hosting internet level phishing, malware, and Command and Control Callback as well as offers custom content filtering settings. Our DNS network is truly global, so we're always available and always faster, no matter where you are. We also offer network statistics so that you can see the DNS requests made on your network. This article will walk you through configuring OpenDNS and using its different features.
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Home users have 3 choices, select the option that's best for you:
OpenDNS Home offers free protection for 1 network that includes speedy RFC-compliant DNS resolution, phishing protection, large scale malware and Command and Control Callback protection, two weeks of stats and logs, 25 blacklist domains and 25 whitelist domains. You can always upgrade from Home to Home VIP so if you would like to try out the product and make sure you can get it working on your network, Home free is a good option for you.
OpenDNS Home VIP offers free protection for 1 network that includes speedy RFC-compliant DNS resolution, phishing protection, large scale malware and Command and Control Callback protection, a years worth of stats and logs, 50 blacklist domains, 50 whitelist domains, and enhanced customization of the block page.
OpenDNS Family Shield is especially geared toward protecting your family. 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 are our FamilyShield DNS servers. They are configured at the server level to block 4 categories (Pornography, Tasteless, Proxy/Anonymizer, and Sexuality) as well as internet level phishing, malware, and Command and Control Callback. These servers were created as a 'set and forget' method of filtering. No account is required to use FamilyShield, you do not need to register your network in the dashboard. If you create an account you can also configure additional custom category filtering at the network level, but the 4 categories Pornography, Tastelessness, Proxy/Anonymizer, and Sexuality will always be blocked on your network when using FamilyShield.
After account creation, you will be shown a screen that asks you to choose whether you would like to change the DNS settings on Home routers, Computer Workstations and Laptops, Servers, and Smart Devices. If you are unsure which option to choose, we usually recommend that home users configure their router. Your router or modem acts as a gateway between all the computers and devices on your network. If you change the DNS settings on your router, any device obtaining its DNS settings from the router will be using OpenDNS.
I Don’t See Directions for my Router on the Configuration List
You can check your router’s manual for directions to change its DNS settings. Some ISPs/manufacturers do not provide manuals but a quick internet search of your router make and model usually yields results for that router/modem’s manual. Not all routers allow you to change their DNS settings. If your router was supplied to you by your internet service provider you should contact them for instructions on updating the DNS settings, as they may have loaded their own, proprietary firmware on the device.
I Can’t Change the DNS settings on my Router/Modem
Just because your router/modem cannot be configured to use OpenDNS does not mean you can’t use our service. You can always change the DNS settings on your computer/smart devices using the instructions here: Computer Workstations and Laptops , and Smart Devices. You will get the same benefits, and if you have a small number of computers on your network, it's relatively easy. In some cases, users have found success in configuring both their router and computers.
Another option would be to install a third-party router, such as one you would buy at a store, in between the ISP's router and the rest of the devices on your network. You can then configure OpenDNS on that device and it will distribute the DNS settings to the devices on your network. Any router that allows you to change its DNS settings should work in this case, providing your internet service provider allows you to use 3rd party DNS settings.
After you have configured OpenDNS you will be asked to test your new settings. If you see the following screen:
Congrats! Your network is now configured to use OpenDNS and you can start setting up your dashboard.
If you believe OpenDNS is configured correctly but you are not seeing the Success screen, please confirm that your ISP allows 3rd Party DNS providers by using the instructions in the following article: https://support.opendns.com/entries/40333700-How-can-I-Tell-if-my-ISP-Allows-Third-Party-DNS-Providers-
If OpenDNS is only working on one or a few devices on your network please see the following article: https://support.opendns.com/entries/39861294-OpenDNS-is-Only-Working-on-One-or-Some-of-my-Computers-Devices
If you have confirmed your ISP allows 3rd party DNS and have configured your network to use OpenDNS but are still having issues, you can open a ticket through your dashboard in the Support tab or email email@example.com with the results of a diagnostic tool as described here.
Confirming Your Account
After you have configured your network (devices) to use OpenDNS you should check your email for an account confirmation email from OpenDNS. Not all email services allow hyperlinks within the content of messages, if the link in your email is not clickable copy and paste the link into your browser to confirm your account. If you click (or copy and paste) the link in the confirmation email you will be taken to your OpenDNS dashboard.
Adding a Network
Once in your dashboard you will see a big box on your Home screen that says Add a network as shown below. Adding a network to your OpenDNS dashboard allows you to use our custom content filtering and stats features. Click on the Add a network box to get started:
Once you click Add a network you will get the below screen which asks you to add an IP address. You should add your current external (public) IP address that is assigned to you by your internet service provider as your network. If you are on your home network you will see your current IP address displayed at the top of your dashboard where it says Your current IP is. Use that IP address for your dashboard network:
Next you will get a screen that asks you for a network name and whether or not you have a Dynamic IP address. If you are unsure, you most likely have a dynamic IP address. Most internet service providers lease dynamic IP addresses which means that your IP address can change. In order to prevent gaps in your stats and filtering we recommend you download the OpenDNS Updater software shown on the below screen. If you have more questions regarding dynamic IP addresses please see Dynamic IP Addresses : Technical Detail and FAQ.
After you add your network you will see the screen below. Time to check your email to verify your IP address!
You should receive an email that looks like the one below, once you click the link your IP address will be verified and you will be taken back to the dashboard.
If you see this error when verifying your IP address it means that your current IP address does not match the one in your dashboard. If you are not on your home network wait until you are again to verify your IP. If you are on your home network your dynamic IP address may have changed. Try deleting the network in your dashboard and adding your new current IP address in order to verify it.
Configuring Content Filtering Settings
After you have added a network, content filtering can be configured in the Settings tab. Click on the Settings tab and choose the network you added from the Settings for: drop down to open the Web Content Filtering menu for this network. In the Choose your filtering level settings you can choose from one of the levels that are pre-set or chose Custom to select the categories you would like to filter on your network.
You can also manage individual domains to customize your filtering settings. For example, if you choose to block the Lingerie/Bikini category but would still like to shop at victoriassecret.com you can add victoriassecret.com to your Never Block list which will allow access to victoriassecret.com while blocking all other domains in that category.
If you would like statistics for your network, first you must Enable stats and logs on your network. To do so, click on the Settings tab, choose the network you added from the Settings for: drop down and click on Stats and Logs from the left hand menu. You will see the option to enable stats and logs, check the box and hit APPLY to enable stats as shown below:
It can take up to 24 hours for stats to initially populate after you enable them, so if you don't see them right away don't fret they are coming!
When stats begin to populate you can view them in the Stats tab. There are several different ways you can view your stats by choosing the options in the left hand menu:
To learn more about your network statistics please see the following support articles: