If you use OpenDNS today, are a fan of us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, you’ve been hearing about the pending availability of OpenDNS Deluxe and OpenDNS Enterprise for over a month. We didn’t give much detail about the new services but instead gave you a place to tell us if you’d be interested in a paid version of OpenDNS that has more features and no advertisements.

The feedback was overwhelming. And, your feedback helped shape the products we’ve released today.

Here’s what we’ve learned and tried to deliver:

  • There is huge demand for a clean, premium DNS service. DNS is how people navigate the Internet — And, there is an audience that’s willing to pay for an ad-free version of what we already provide.
  • Security services are too expensive and too complex. For parents at home, the UI for parental controls solutions should be powerful but easy to use. We work hard to expose the depth of features in a controlled way so users aren’t overwhelmed with choices. We’re not at Apple-status of simplicity yet, but we’re working on it. As for price, schools and businesses of all sizes simply looking to keep their users safe and their network secure should be able to manage filtering for multiple locations without consuming all of their IT budget.

OpenDNS Deluxe and OpenDNS Enterprise address these two points.

OpenDNS Deluxe is basically an ad-free version of the free service. It has some additional customization options, an increased whitelist, whitelist-only mode (which limits Web access on your network to only the sites in your whitelist and blocks everything else) and stores your network stats for up to a year, a big boost from the two weeks we store your stats now. We have priced a family pack version and a per-user version.

OpenDNS Enterprise is best for school districts and larger businesses. It gives you the ability to share OpenDNS management across a team, delegating read, write and grant privileges, and includes an audit log. It includes comprehensive malware site protection, daily reports about network stats delivered through email you can forward and share easily, and allows you to specify a custom URL for block page landings. It also stores your stats indefinitely. You can roll out OpenDNS across multiple locations without deploying an appliance at each site in a matter of minutes or hours.

There are a few very important things I’d like to clarify about this announcement, however. First and foremost, the free version you use and love today, what we’re calling OpenDNS Basic, is not going away. Ever. On the contrary it will continue to get better and better over time, with new features and functionality that are good for you, your users and the Internet. As we expand datacenters and our footprint, you’ll benefit from that, too. This is all being served on the same platform regardless of package.

Second, there’s some confusion around the Malware Site Protection feature, as it relates to all versions of OpenDNS. Here’s what’s happening: We will continue to block Internet-scale bots and dangerous websites that spread malware in the Basic and Deluxe versions, just as we’ve done with Conficker and the recent Microsoft Zero Day Exploit. We call this Basic Botnet / Malware Protection. The Malware Site Protection feature is different and brand new, never before offered, and is included in OpenDNS Enterprise. Similarly, we have an expanded list of botnet command and control sites currently only available in the Enterprise version. It’s our hope to be able to offer this down the product line over time, but for now it’s limited to Enterprise.

Today is an exciting day for us here at OpenDNS, and the new services are the culmination of lots of hard work from everyone on the OpenDNS team. We look forward to your feedback as our aim, very clearly, is to give you the features you want.

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