pcns - blog - eric braun, owner.


jan 2007 - my issue with opendns.org

Opendns.org has its own, freely available high performance DNS system.  You substitute your own ISP's DNS for this one. They claim high cache hit rate which results in faster name resolution so your connection experience is faster. They have servers spaced geographically worldwide.

How do they make money? If you type something in such as a type say www.pcnxdfw.com (a misspelling) instead of a typical "page not found" screen, it goes to opendns.org search engine and suggests sites that may match parameters similar to what you typed. Looks a lot like google. No adware, spyware, or trojans. Advertisers place text ads on their search page. It has anti phishing technology so it can warn you before you attempt to access a bad website.

It does make a difference, surfing is faster on my DSL. All was well, until I rebuilt an old gateway PC. I installed a used Asus AMD mobo in it, and I was installing W2kpro on it. Anyhow I named the PC gw2600 (for Gateway with a Athlon Xp 2600+ CPU), and I setup one share so I could transfer a Service Pack to it. Well I couldn't connect to it. Well, that was weird, so I dropped to the command prompt, and typed:

ping gw2600

The win2k box had no antivirus or firewall - it was freshly installed.

It replied, or at least I thought it did. It replied from, which from California, San Francisco, Freedom Networks, LLC.  So I switched back to my ISP's DNS in the router, typed ping gw2600, and it resolved to the local PC on

So if you use opendns.org's DNS IP addresses and you have a local area network having difficulties, opendns acts like a catch all for bad domain names, even netbios names.  It will even resolve anydomainname.local to the same address.

I just brought the PC up, so perhaps my XP Box (the Master Browser) just didn't catch it in time, so perhaps letting it sit for a while, the problem could have gone away.  Interestingly, you can ping blahblah and it resolves to their DNS server. So I understand their marketing role is to primarily catch bad addresses, but it appears you can type gobbly gook characters ping 3idm329slfe3 and it catches it, which now I believe is not a good idea.