Google launched a DNS service today, almost exactly four years after I started OpenDNS. This comes as no surprise as it was only a matter of time before one of the Internet giants realized the strategic importance of DNS. I’ve received a lot of questions from bloggers, journalists, friends and most importantly, our users. And so I want to share my thoughts on what this means for the recursive DNS space and what it means for OpenDNS.

First, it’s not the same as OpenDNS. When you use Google DNS, you are getting the experience they prescribe. When you use OpenDNS, you get the Dashboard controls to manage your experience the way you want for you, your family or your organization. People use OpenDNS because we are pioneers and innovators in the DNS space, offering the most secure recursive DNS service around. We run the largest DNS caches, the fastest resolvers, and we offer the most flexibility in controlling your DNS experience. For example, IT folks want to block malware in the DNS, parents sometimes want to block certain content from kids. All of that and more is possible with our DNS. It is not with Google DNS. Of course, we don’t force those things, we offer them as controls that you manage the way you see fit. Providing people with choice is core to our offerings.

Second, it means that Google realizes that DNS is a critical piece of our Internet’s infrastructure and that it’s of strategic importance to help people safely and reliably navigate the Internet. This is something we’ve championed since day one and will always keep as our primary mission. This is why big enterprise customers are switching to OpenDNS too, not because it’s free but because it’s the best and we add value to DNS and improve the security of their networks.

Third, Google claims that this service is better because it has no ads or redirection. But you have to remember they are also the largest advertising and redirection company on the Internet. To think that Google’s DNS service is for the benefit of the Internet would be naive. They know there is value in controlling more of your Internet experience and I would expect them to explore that fully. And of course, we always have protected user privacy and have never sold our DNS data. Here’s a link to our privacy policy.

Fourth, it means that Google is bringing awareness to a wide audience that there is a choice when it comes to DNS and that users don’t have to settle for what their ISP provides. And we believe that having choice is a good thing — just as Internet users have unbundled their email to services like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail people have been unbundling their DNS and switching to OpenDNS in huge numbers for the last 3+ years because we’re better.

Fifth, it’s not clear that Internet users really want Google to keep control over so much more of their Internet experience than they do already — from Chrome OS at the bottom of the stack to Google Search at the top, it is becoming an end-to-end infrastructure all run by Google, the largest advertising company in the world. I prefer a heterogeneous Internet with lots of parties collaborating to make this thing work as opposed to an Internet run by one big company.

So how will this impact us? It’s too early to tell, but largely I think this is a good thing for us. Google DNS currently offers none of the choice and flexibility that our service does. It’s new and untested. Having said that, it encourages us to keep making our service better. And ultimately, we’re a business that has been growing aggressively since we launched and has been competing in fair markets and winning. It raises awareness about the importance of DNS and it motivates us to continue providing world-class services to a global audience and to keep innovating.

We will continue to do that without distraction from Google or any of the other players in the DNS or security space. But we welcome Google to the neighborhood.

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  • Nice post, you bring up very important points of differentiation.

    What I hope happens is that this move causes more awareness of DNS and that individuals do have choice in a DNS provider–specifically OpenDNS. As such, I would imagine that OpenDNS could gain more ground and more users.

    Your provide a wonderful service and reasonable rates, but I think most people are unaware they can even switch.

    Keep up the good work!

  • I think it’s a little naive to think it is a good thing for you. How are you going to compete with Google’s infrastructure and get your response times down to Google DNS’? I would expect many people will switch away as I just have until you can roll out an extremely expensive upgrade.

  • Very well thought out response, David. I especially agree about your points about Google’s interests in this whole thing and basically controlling every aspect of our internet usage. While it’s not necessarily a horrible thing, it’s definitely something to be aware of. I hope you take this in stride and keep doing what you do so well. I for one will definitely keep using your product, but I’ll also be giving Google a whirl just to try it out because I’m that kind of guy. Keep up the great work!

  • Can agree more on point five and that’s why my resolv.conf will keep pointing at OpenDNS. There’s too much “my way or the highway” stuff coming from Google lately …

  • Some people don’t like NX’s being hijacked. It’s the reason I don’t use OpenDNS nor my ISP. I do however agree with the principal of providing reliable and consistent DNS services.

    Calling them out because they are an advertiser is daft. You make money from NX hijacking from adverts.

    The cool thing here is there is more choice and Google are more likely to generate more interest than someone such as UltraDNS or OpenDNS – and that is only a good thing.

  • Peter Kasting

    Spreading FUD about logging and privacy is pretty indefensible when Google goes out of its way to explain clearly that they are not correlating any data with Google accounts, advertising, or anything else: . Why don’t you link that next to the link to your own privacy policy?

  • I use opendns @ home for more than 3 yrs. I love their service. I will never leave opendns. I hate big G.

  • @Peter Kasting — It’s nice to see someone from Google commenting on the blog, so thanks for taking the time. I didn’t mean it to be FUD’y, I’m just telling it the way I see it. And if the direction that Google has taken with Chrome and their toolbars (taking over address bar areas, etc.) is any indication of what’s to come with Google DNS, I think we’ll see I’m right. If not, I’ll stand corrected and am always happy to be. 🙂

  • Thanks for these points, David. I think it’s important and timely that you provided this feedback.

    I agree that competition in the marketplace is a good thing — and a market of just Comcast DNS and OpenDNS is not much of a market at all (largely because of the problem of making people aware that alternatives exist at all).

    I look at Google’s Public DNS service as having a net positive halo effect for OpenDNS (which I will continue to use) by introducing a wider audience to the importance of the inner workings of the net, and the built-in freedom of choice baked into the underlying protocols.

    Clearly the web is under an assault unlike any other in history: by centralizing the channels of access to a few companies, the freedoms to choose, freely associate, and compete are being undermined. I welcome Google to this space, if only because it will promote the availability of competitors in the marketplace.

  • @Jeff: Granted today may not be the best day to run performance tests, but from my location ping-times to OpenDNS are half compared to Google’s DNS service. OpenDNS was on average 50% faster (on a random set of domain names) than Google’s DNS service. I’ll run that test again in a few weeks.

  • @Chris Messina — Thanks, and I fully fully support the moves you’ve been making about maintaining the decentralized web and Internet. Let me know how I can help.

  • Jonathan Sidhu

    Nice post David….knew you’d be on top of the announcement….

  • John Baxter

    Well, a deliberately failing query to Google produced the proper NXDOMAIN error. OpenDNS tries to “help”. I want to know that I got something wrong. Perhaps now I can use the control OpenDNS provides to achieve that, but I haven’t bothered looking.

    The typo squatters of the world are bad enough (and totally destroy email rapid error handling).

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  • Gerry Humphrey

    David Ulevitch,

    Thank you for this post.

    I have already been asked about Google Public DNS already and while I see that it was a good step in the right direction I saw some of the shortcomings you mentioned. Your post helped me fill in the information.

    The only ongoing issue with OpenDNS that I have is too often advertiser servers as posted as Adware when they almost always are not. Now that you have a paid version of OpenDNS, I would hope that you would channel some revenue to tackle the improper categorization of sites. This is one area where ‘crowdsourcing’ does not always work.

    Of course, this is just one part of OpenDNS and I appreciate you having your service available, in both free and paid versions.

  • Jason Wier

    I think the deciding factor for me will be IPv6 support. I am switching my home network over and OpenDNS does not support IPv6 yet. Unless they just have not been too public about it. I will check out Google DNS for IPv6 support.

  • This news has actually prompted me to check what OpenDNS can offer me as a potetial new customer. I hope this doesn’t have a bad effect on your company.

    Duncan Oldham

  • awk awk

    I’d rather see an encrypted method of resolving DNS, rather than out in the open, something similar to how the tor network works.

  • Nice post David. For me at least, you hit the nail on the head on most of your points: any services that match or exceed the quality of Google’s will be my choice because putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea.

    That said, I’m not sold on the idea that Google getting into the space is good for OpenDNS but at least the competition will be good for end-users.

    Long story short as an OpenDNS user for just over three years now, I have never looked back and don’t expect to so keep up the good work guys!

  • One advantage Google has over OpenDNS is the IP address of their DNS service is very memorable.

    When setting others up with OpenDNS I have to visit your site to grab the numbers. There will be a temptation to set to Google DNS if getting to your website is inconvenient, or even not possible.

    Hopefully Google will take a friendly approach to working alongside OpenDNS and not try and wipe them out. Having two great DNS services legitimizes the idea. If one of the services goes away there is always an alternative, so switching away from your ISP’s DNS is less risky if one is risk averse, as corporate IT management typically is.

  • Rob Shaw-Fuller

    I use OpenDNS for my home network, and I’m not switching to Google DNS any time soon. My reasoning is simple: I’m using OpenDNS for the filtering, not merely for the speed & reliability. In fact, my primary purpose is filtering. Google isn’t going to provide filtering — and even seems to be a bit fanatical about not doing so — which makes their service irrelevant to me.

    Naturally, my concern is that my kids will soon be clever enough to switch their own DNS settings to override what I set for the network. So they’ll switch to Google DNS (or whatever) and bypass my filters. Bummer. So I won’t be able to rely on OpenDNS for all of my defense, but it will still be an important tool in my toolbox.

    That said, Jeff has a point. Google is the eight-hundred-pound gorilla in the DNS “room” now, and it might be a bit optimistic for you to think of their presence as a benefit for you. I hope that you’re right. I hope that OpenDNS continues for many, many years to come.

  • Eric

    I am a happy OpenDNS user as well as a google fan boy, and I have no plans to switch to google dns. However, the idea that google is forcing a “google dns experience” is kind of absurd.

    They’re simply providing a dns service that follows RFC 1034. While I prefer the OpenDNS user experience, I completely recognize the downsides of all unresolved queries resolving to “” as they do with OpenDNS.

    This comment is more for the other commenters, then the original post.

    OpenDNS is great.

  • Thank you for this post. It answers my questions. I for one am very happy with the service that OpenDNS and will continue to use them and recommend them to my clients. I believe as much of the internet experience as possible should be controlled by the user and not the big companies like Google.

  • Austin Wise

    Those only thing Google really has over OpenDNS is their resolver’s IP addresses are more easily remembered.

  • Jonathan

    How long before ISPs (we’re looking at you, Comcast) simply block DNS requests that aren’t to their own DNS servers, just like they block SMTP?

  • I only have one thing to say.

    DNS was designed to be distributed. Not just all across one provider.

  • Hi David,
    as an OpenDNS user and promoter (since in Argentina Fibertel is a lousy and crappy ISP but they have the monopoly of Cablemodem) I couldnt agree more on points 3 and 5… the rest of the points are quite obvious for everyone.

    However the strategic importance of point 5 and the key concepto of Privacy in point 3 is, still, the single largest advantage you have over them.

    Still not sure if this is so great for you.. but hey, you’re doing an excellent job and thats where you have to be focused on.


  • Google DNS may come into play if you setup requires bare bones minimum. I did give it a try and it does seem pretty speedy. I’mm a Google Fanboy and use alot of their services. However I’ll stick with my favorite OpenDNS for built-in filtering and not having all my eggs in one basket.

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  • Daniel

    Someone ran a benchmark on dns queries and it shows that OpenDNS is usually the fastest in the United States.


    The test includes OpenDNS, Google’s DNS, and Level 3’s DNS. Personally I think I will be sticking with OpenDNS. I’m a Google fan-boy as well. I use Chrome, have an 2 Android phones, my home page is iGoogle, even convinced my job to switch to Google Apps… but I don’t see myself using Google for DNS. Something about it just bugs me, whether they use it for advertising or not.

  • Marco


    Excellent David. Thank you.

  • @Jonathan

    It is… Your browser caches, your Net Stack maybe too, and ideally you have a local DNS cache on a router or such for your whole network… However, unless you really use the same sites all the time… you go ahead and ask your provider (usually) … and if it’s not cached there… you make a whole bunch of dns traffic happen from the . (dot) to .com or whatever… and from there to the provider’s provider… etc… till you find an AUTH answer… now… if all this is locally cached on the array of servers (like OpenDNS or Google’s recent service) you actually help the net… because you only make 1 call to resolve something…

    In the end… it’s your choice… you can even not cache a single thing… but since DNS rarely needs to be really “fresh” (12+ hours or even a week… is a logical cache setting for most names)… it pays of to the general “speed” of internet to use services like this… Now if it’s REASONABLY filtered… it’s an extra layer of protection… not bad for a novice if you ask me… and NO I don’t agree with censorship of ANY kind, but known attack/malware/cc fraud sites is nice to get “auto-banned” for you… 😉

    Just my 2c, OpenDSN = Filtering, GoogleDNS=Fast (or will be when it fills up from now on)… now what both do with the data… (policy or not)… is another story… I don’t scream conspiracy… but data gathering is a great business nowdays… and not many are raising above personal benefit for the greater good 🙂

    I use OpenDNS myself, and I might try Google’s version at some point… but I do so knowing there is someone… that can “read” my visits to everything I check out 🙂 I don’t care… but someone else might… You have been warned 🙂

  • First, thanks for the years of great service! I carry OpenDNS’s addresses around in my wallet because sometimes you just need a different, known-good DNS provider.

    From my perspective, Google’s DNS service is a good thing. At worst, Google learn that someone from somewhere looked up a name. This seems to be little different from what they already do with text searches, offering insight into regional trends. At best, Google will push this towards end users, forcing “bad” DNS providers (cable companies being the worst offenders, IMHO) to clean up their service.

    As I see it, Google’s DNS only competes with OpenDNS in a very limited market: me. I don’t use any of OpenDNS’s advanced features, and I only use resolving for troubleshooting, so I’m really just wasting your bandwidth. It would be better for OpenDNS for users like me to use Google’s service. That said, should I ever need to use filtering, typo correction, or any other of the many great features OpenDNS offers, I will not hesitate to use OpenDNS, because at that point, it will be better than Google.

  • Sinan

    I use opendns at work to filter dns and web browsing, and I used to use it home because it’s betten than my ISP’s dns. And I believe opendns is a great service.

    However, I switched to google’s dns at home to check it out and now it seems a bit faster than opendns.

    In my humble opinion if google just provides a “faster-free dns” but not filtering etc. it won’t kill “opendns” but make it stronger.

    At this point OpenDns should work really hard to provide faster response times..

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  • I just checked it out, it’s too early in development right now to get any real use out of Google DNS… I’m going back to OpenDNS now. I think it’s promising just because it’s Google, and they tend to get into a market, and just eat the competition alive, but I feel that OpenDNS has a stronghold in this field, and I really hope they stay competitive with Google.

  • Russ

    I have no idea what the Google effect will be for OpenDNS, but I do know that I’ve been here for a couple of years now and we use OpenDNS to do some heavy filtering of the web on our networks. The result has been an enormous savings of time & effort that previously went to cleaning trojans & viruses from our machines. I think I’ll be here form quite some time to come.

  • Mike Kingston

    Very well put. Great analysis on them as well. I can tell you’re a very good leader.

    Good luck vs the goliath. You can win.

  • Mike Kingston

    @Peter Kasting
    I think it’s important to remember that Google won’t always be run by the two extremely brilliant founders it already has. It being a public company, leadership will eventually need to be succeeded to someone else after the founders. At that point of the power change, many things can go terribly wrong, as it has in so many other great companies in the past.

    New management can easily decide to reverse their stance on privacy policy, and if Google has 80% of the DNS market at that point, there’s not much you can do about it. So I’m glad David has taken the time to articulate his point on that matter and I’m very happy to see a strong, lively and competitive spirit from others against such a formidable foe like Google. I also understand the position he is in as CEO of a startup. Remember, he probably has many responsibilities — from returns for shareholders’ investments, making sure salaries are being paid to employees, and probably most importantly, keeping himself happy and as stress-free as possible.

  • Randy Fort


    You raised excellent points. It should be a concern that Google is getting in this space.

    They are primarily a for-profit company so this should not be taken as face value.

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  • I’m a pretty tech savvy guy, but I don’t wanna go through the hassle of switching to something else.

    I’ve been extremely happy using OpenDNS, and will continue to do so unless you guys become evil or start messing with my resolvs.

  • Evan

    It would be interesting if your next blog post compared the features of the two services. In particular the techniques Google DNS are using to improve performance etc. and how they compare to what openDNS already does.

    Thanks for a great service.


  • Google DNS pales in comparrison next to the feature laden OpenDNS. Google will raise awareness of DNS and OpenDNS should benefit as a result. There are plenty of people that don’t want to support a giant like Google. I have been using OpenDNS for about 2 years and I can’t recommend it enough!

  • Long time no chat David. Great article – I agree with all your points. Especially that having Google enter the space just validates this market even more. I tested speeds of OpenDNS with Google Public DNS and at home here in Houston TX, OpenDNS was about 20ms faster than Google for most sites I tried. 🙂

  • Curt Hibbs

    Like Eric, I am both an OpenDNS fan and a Google fan.

    I was going to switch to Google DNS because I can’t VPN into my work when I use OpenDNS. I suspect its due to the NX redirection, but I just learned that I can turn that off. I’m going to test that tonight, so that may keep me with OpenDNS.

  • Gregory Suvalian

    There is one thing I’m sure I’m going to use Google DNS, i.e. remembering their DNS server IPs. is much easier to remember then

  • Ike

    Wow. That is a bit of a shocker. Google is taking over the internet.

    BTW, your blog post here is on the first page when you search “Google DNS” in Google, so at least there is one non-Google voice in the results.

  • Ed

    @Mike Kingston
    I don’t buy that. If they do get 80% of the DNS market (which is outrageously high) — people still have the option to change DNS servers. If it is forced upon them by an employer or ISP, the organization will face user retaliation if Google begins doing bad things.

    I think the key is, as @Andreas said, OpenDNS for functionality and features, Google for speed. OpenDNS will have a hard time expanding to have more servers in more locations (which results in slower speeds), whereas Google hardly has much of this infrastructure in place.

  • rick

    I see a potential conflict of interest here. Google on the outside is open and outspoken about open source however they are in the business of making money. On the surface people may believe the experience will improve security and/or performance and that may be the case. But look deeper at what google all about …. data mining … can/will google be unbiased with web searches with THEIR DNS? They could easily and very well direct searches and the browsing experience to lean towards their way. Improving results to their paid advertisers. That bothers me and it should bother others. I’m sure others will not see the importance of this but to me it is as important as free speech.

    Secondly, google is known for data mining. Take for instance google voice as it openly (for a short time) left voicemails search able. By using their DNS whose to say they don’t monitor YOUR browsing history. I have to hand it to them … with this type of information they can/will become very powerful. By using Google DNS you will leave so many crumbs that every step you take can and will be tracked and stored by a private company.

    I am willing to bet that google will store this information and use it. This may not seem important right now but like everything … most people just don’t get it. Is your privacy important to you? if not then you can ignore my post.

    For those that don’t know what DNS is I see this as a danger. Especially when this service is tied to so many other services that google offers.

    David, this is great and I for one believe that you should keep pressing forward with this issue. There is more here than google would like us to believe. Google is a great search engine and they are a great innovative company. I have long admired them however I’m starting to see an arrogance that will grow and for one company to control so much leads me to believe that my freedom is at stake.

  • Michael Lynch

    Hello OpenDNS,

    Personally in the IT world I would rather go with OpenDNS over GoogleDNS. As a Network Administrator, I have to see where my end users go on the Internet. We all know end users are idiots, and they have no idea of networking topology, or network infrastructure.

    To me it’s simple. OpenDNS may not be the fastest at resolving DNS, but it’s more secure. I am allowed to filter content such as Facebook from my end users so they don’t waste company time. With GoogleDNS, I basically allow them to free reign on the Internet once again viewing Facebook, and porn sites on company time. If you look at the security standpoint, most of those end users will use the browser we have supplied them with either be it Internet Explorer, or Firefox. If an end user visits a website that has popups that can infect the health of the system than that end user just got the network a virus, and everything that is on the network or that particular sub-net is going to get some sort of attack. That could be our servers, or even more important our Network Attached Storage (NAS). With OpenDNS I can filter out sites that the end user visited, so that they no longer can go to those sites and our network is healthy.

    While I understand speed is nice and good, it is the reason why many companies are not using Chrome in the IT world. It’s fast, but where is the security behind it. Until IPv6 is fully supported, I think we really have to start thinking where our packets go and not just assume that speed is greater than security.

    So for me for both home use and business use, I would take the security and customization of OpenDNS, over GoogleDNS any day. If one day Google has the customization like OpenDNS, than I might switch, but right now I’m kind of hesitant on two reasons. One is the security I mentioned, and two is Class A DNS address. While Class A can support a ton of hosts, I’m wondering what is Google doing on the back end to provide this to so many users?

  • Steven Black

    Just one thing to say: I am very happy with the excellent service you have provided over the years. You have *nothing* to worry about, you guys are great.

  • curt
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  • DaveN

    It’s one thing for a business to have some revenue that comes from advertising, as OpenDNS does. It’s quite another to have a business model built on collection of personally identifiable information. The fact that Google isn’t currently collecting any personal data from their DNS servers doesn’t mean that they won’t at some point in the future, particularly if their service is widely accepted enough for them to see profit in doing so.

    Yes, I’m a tin foil hat wearing paranoid. But Google’s “privacy” practices have played a big part in making me that way.

  • Arnold deVos

    Thanks for creating OpenDNS. It is invaluable even to us occasional users. I’ll continue to use it out of loyalty despise google’s move.

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  • Nice post David,

    I never thought about DNS until my ISP had messed up theirs for a couple of days. That’s when I found out about OpenDNS. At this point I did not care about your configuration options, I just wanted to get DNS service back. I went back to my ISP’s service.

    Now I have two options in case of troubles.

    Seems like filtering and configuration will remain OpenDNS’ USP.

    Good luck with that strategy.

  • Brett Glass

    The first thing that is of serious concern about this move is that it is anticompetitive. Google is in the Internet search advertising business; so, essentially, are ISPs who advertise via DNS redirection. (The pages often look very much like Google search results, with not just advertising but also search results which list sites to which the user may have intended to go.) In fact, many naive Internet users simply type search terms into the URL bar of their browsers, expecting the browser to magically take them to the right place or at least return appropriate search results. Due to DNS redirection (which is optional on every ISP that does it), there’s a good chance that the user will actually be pointed toward what he or she is looking for.
    Google, in essence, is attempting to cut off the legitimate revenue stream of one very useful form of competitive “search engine.”

    It’s also found another great way to spy on Internet users. With your DNS queries flowing through it servers, it will know where you go, and will be able to merge this information with the dossiers it creates on users via GMail messages, Google Analytics spyware scripts, and DoubleClick spyware tracking cookies.

    Wouldn’t use this for the world.

  • Ted Tyree

    I’m just another extremely satisfied customer of OpenDNS both at work as the Director of IT and at home as Dad. I don’t need incredible speed and neither do my employees (or kids for that matter). I need control. I need quality service. OpenDNS has never slowed things down where I work and play. It has, however, made a significant improvement.

    Thank you David and OpenDNS. Please keep pioneering the way forward.


    -Ted Tyree

  • Fair competition breeds quality and increased bang for the buck. You are great and have a three year lead in this. Maintain your lead and most will stay with you!

  • Your ISP has more data on you and your internet habits than Google ever will. 🙂

  • David Housh

    I have been using OpenDNS on my home network for 2 years now. I highly recommend it to all of my customers, who always switch to OpenDNS from their ISP’s DNS system.

    I think it will be interesting to see how things will play out with Google’s DNS System. If it is like GMail and all of those other services that crash all the time, people will switch to something else (OpenDNS hopefully).

    Until something better comes out, I will continue to use OpenDNS. As far as I am concerned, OpenDNS will always be at the top!

    Keep up the good work guys and I can’t wait to see what is next!

  • We have been using OpenDNS for more than 3 years. Yeah Google is heating up competetion, but you know what? given a choice between giant corporations and small focussed firms, I would choose the later. But! you got to keep up with the innovations and be as responsive, if not better.

  • David

    Nice post. As a long-time user of, I’m fully convinced of the value of OpenDNS but I think the full power of registering a network, even a very simple home network that’s run through a standard consumer router, is a very hard concept to convey to those without much technical sophistication. Your documentation still needs work on that score.

  • I’m from India and I’ve been a big fan of OpenDNS since quite a while!

    Having my whole Internet experience (read “life”) in the hands of one “do-no-evil” company is a scary thought.

    I’m not switching.

  • Adam Messner

    Their lack of innovation out of the gates may be a sign. I suspect they will continue to play catch up in this space. Not a game changer.

  • I have two comments on the day’s events. First, in spite of my article I have high respect and great good will for David Ulevitch and the rest of the OpenDNS team. I might wish that NXDOMAIN redirection were opt-in rather than opt-out, but I have no complaints about OpenDNS’s quality of service and I want to publicly thank David and his team for their excellent and continuing work against e-crime, both inside OpenDNS and in their non-profit PhishTank project.

    Second, I really don’t understand why GoogleDNS or OpenDNS exists. I run my own recursive DNS at home, and at work, and on my laptops. It’s really easy to do on most operating systems, and with the many free recursive DNS implementations (including BIND which I have had a hand in) I can’t understand why anybody outsources such a critical and lightweight function as recursive DNS.

  • I totally agree. It’s like comparing apples and pears

  • Ridcully

    Very good posting. I too start to find Google’s activities frightening … also read the other day, they suggest a different protocol instead of HTTP …

    And the funny thing is, I wasn’t aware of until I read some comments in a posting about Google DNS 🙂 So perhaps Google DNS will indeed increase your popularity 🙂

  • Jon

    DNS isn’t just about speed; security matters too. The reason I switched to OpenDNS and the reason I stay is the first point – I can provide some basic control over what my kids can and cannot resolve on the net (or from a different point of view, personal safety and security for my kids). Ok, they can get around it if they really want to, but it means that they’re less likely to accidentally bump into inappropriate stuff, and if they’re going to go digging for it I won’t be able to stop them anyway.

    So for me, OpenDNS provides a degree of control I don’t get elsewhere. That’s its USP.


  • David – I’m happy to see that Google has escalated the DNS arms race and will hopefully pus you and your team to greater innovation.

    With your service already fast, I’m curious how much faster/better DNS could actually be? With more servers, could ping times be halved? Could you partner with ISP’s and place servers closer to users as a defense against Google?

    What’s next?

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  • I’ve been using OpenDNS since Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb suggested it for a particular problem I had. Now I’m realizing that there’s a lot more to it and I guess I’ll have to study up!

    I use a lot of Google services but when I have a strong alternative I’ll go with that. They’re a great company in many ways but have already shown that evil is a hard thing to avoid.

    So Google is making me want to learn more about OpenDNS, which is part of what you seem to be saying, David.

    Thanks for the good work and I look forward to digging deeper.

  • Sharad Kumar

    OpenDNS is phenomenal. Latencies are much lower and more consistent than Google or any other DNS provider that I have tested. OpenDNS remains the champ and I will continue to use them. It also doesn’t hurt that they are an independent, DNS-only provider with no conflicts.

  • Jim Davidson

    I am a distant observer of OpenDNS and low tech old school, but I receive periodic insights from Jesse. These blogs are helpful, the viewpoints diverse. You are all very articulate and supportive of knowledge sharing. From a distance I wonder when Google is going to court OpenDNS. Google does have pleasant brick and mortar with big company advantages. Could OpenDNS be persuaded to reinforce collaboration and choice as a core Google value? The people @ OpenDNS are in a very exciting place, and my reading says you have a very loyal following. I think this derives from a strong sense of ethics about choice and freedom, and also an innate distrust of large enterprises. Looking forward to the future.

  • Jatalon

    Someone as David with such a discerning thought will face very well this so-called competition. Like you suggest, the common people will become aware of the DNS while OpenDNS will be even more useful to professional people.

  • I have been using OpenDNS now for 3 years, and I don’t even have an account. I have a local DNS server with caching at my own home for my network that resolves to OpenDNS. I’ve done this, because I recognize the speed of the service, and the reliability of the queries.

    With that said, I fully welcome Google’s Public DNS to the party. The points you mentioned David are strong, but point #1 is merely a matter of time before Google has a similar dashboard with antimalware and antiphishing mechanisms and parental control, full with additional logging capabilities. It would be quite naive to think they won’t be exploring this.

    Further, while it might be scary that Google has control of so much data, they have yet to show any foul play. They have always stood by their privacy policies, and I don’t see this changing anything in the picture. In fact, they have a privacy policy posted for their public DNS. So, your third and fifth points are more FUD than anything.

    At any rate, I’ll continue my usage of OpenDNS for some time. I’m not really interested in migrating to a new DNS service, when you have a proven track record with me of your reliability and speed. This will be an interesting space to watch, however.

  • Impi

    I don’t know why but there is something about you and your company that I like. The same can be said for Google.
    I can only hope that as we grow as a human race – the battle of good vs evil becomes a single point of providing the best and most loved future for ourselves as a species. In my dream this leaves absolutely no space for deceitfulness and underhanded play..of course there are no poor and underprivileged people either.

    Keep going, your doing well and have my support!

  • Alex

    I have just tried Google’s DNS servers and I HAVE noticed a speed difference, But I am still going to stick with OpenDNS for the content filtering and just block all DNS traffic except to OpenDNS in my router.

    I think OpenDNS saw this coming and that is why they started offering a premium service.

  • Nice post!

    I have been using OpenDNS for nearly 2 years. And I love it.

    Certainly, to be honest, I also would like to make a test with Google DNS next few weeks to know how it is.

    If it is not very good as I expected or as good as OpenDNS, the next step will be a very clear step. 😀

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  • Well, DNS is important. Taking Google’s word on their intentions and their terms etc. is something I’m too paranoid to take at face value; otherwise – what’s the point of them dedicating a bunch of resources to it? Good will? Maybe. I don’t claim to know.

    Frankly, until I feel my ISP is policing or misdirecting my DNS – I don’t have a reason to change. It’s good for folks to know they can.

    Very good article.


  • Well said. As expected, the post was a well written and thought of piece. I for one think that even a bit more concerned tone could have been justified. I am a fan of Google, they do a lot for the good of all the citizens of the Internet. This introduction of Google Open DNS however, is different from the other services. It does nothing in improving anyone’s “Internet experience”. Even the crappiest ISP’s have decent DNS-servers and if they didn’t, there are very good, free alternatives already widely available. Like OpenDNS.

    Google crossed the line here, and they should not get away with it.

  • tobylane

    It’s a shame the better people don’t always win, but at least there generally is a public battle when there are different ways (VHS was worse than betamax, Bluray is worse than HDDVD). I hope you and other better but smaller operations like Opera win out soon.

    Google is trying to do a lot, I suppose we still expect that they only have one box and one privacy policy which could go down or change against us respectively, but of course they are massive and each product has a slightly different privacy policy.

    Meh. Google is pushing in the most areas, lets hope someone overtakes them I suppose, like opendns in DNS, Opera over chrome, ubuntu or mac over chrome os, etc.

  • Chris

    Like a lot of others I have been using OpenDNS for years (about 5 or more) and had no problems at all with the speed of websites etc, I check my regular update site (Tweakguides) and saw that Google released public DNS so obviously I tried it, havent really noticed a difference tbh I live in the UK and it doesn’t seem faster, or slower.
    To the creator of OpenDNS I’d say you have nothing to worry about, the average joe home user isn’t going to be changing DNS settings anyway, mostly experienced(ish) users and companies, and companies will want filtering and security.
    When I first found out about OpenDNS I was quite amazed at what you could do with it, just set it up on your home router and you can control pretty much all activity on your LAN, Google DNS is just DNS numbers, apart from maybe a bit faster than your ISP’s DNS, it isn’t much different.
    And who trusts Google nowadays anyway? All people see Google as now is a massive machine that tracks your activity and destroys your privacy, adverts etc etc it’s not a good image.
    Just because they have the best search engine in the world and probably always will, don’t mean they can instantly dominate any section they like, they have no experience in this sector, it’s just becoming a brand name like Apple hoping for people to jump on the bandwagon

  • I personally use OpenDNS and have for quite some time, and like all the features. I do like the idea of more competition, but I don’t think I like the fact that Google is controlling more and more of the internet. What’s next, the world? lol

  • RobertJ

    I can’t see how Big G could do what OpenDNS does any better. I’ve used OpenDNS for the past 3 years, on every machine, modem and router I’ve touched, and OpenDNS has performed flawlessly.

    One thing that does concern me is that Google may start partnering (read intimidate) with modem / router manufacturers, and begin “pre-loading” G’s DNS entries. While the DNS entries will probably be editable, “Internet Optimized by Google” stickers may soon be commonplace on routers and modems, the end-user’s ‘choice’ already being made for them by Google.

    That said, I’m hoping that Google’s entry will raise awareness of the significance of DNS, and I’m glad that people will have more choice when it comes to implementing a DNS provider. An unhindered free-market is always best when it comes to the Internet – but OpenDNS’s performance to date and features will be some pretty tough competition for Big G. Besides – I seem to recall an adage about eggs and a basket…

  • OpenDNS rocks. I will continue to sing your praises. Hopefully you can continue to innovate in this field ahead of Google.

  • Scooter McGee

    I use almost all of Google’s services, and I plan to try Google’s Public DNS just for kicks, but in my experience OpenDNS is faster than any DNS I have ever used. I love the “shortcut” ability that OpenDNS has, and that will never change.

  • Google has some evil master plan …

    I’ve been behind OpenDNS from the start and there’s no way that I’m switching!

  • Keep up the great work David. You are a pioneer.

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  • This is good competition for OpenDNS. It will only make OpenDNS stronger.

  • I don’t like NX hijacking, but used OpenDNS because I had the option to turn it off.

    I’ve now got my network using either OpenDNS or Google DNS, whichever is fastest, since both offer the functionality I care about.

    (It’s a good job you fixed the problem with IPv6 AAAA queries, or I’d have dropped OpenDNS entirely.)

  • Ivan

    All I say is: great news for you guys. As a matter of fact, I had NO idea you even existed, and I plan to install OpenDNS as soon as I can. I would never dream of giving more power to Google ;).

  • brian

    I didn’t know about OpenDNS service until reading an opinion piece on Google’s new service. Now that I have read this post and seen your website, I’ll be signing up tonight.

  • James

    Google is the largest redirection company on the Internet? In what way?

  • Joachim

    OpenDNS is offering a great service and I’ll stay.
    No way for me to change the reliable DNS-Servers to Google.

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  • Brian

    I tried both, and on both my hosted virtual server and my home connection, OpenDNS is much faster to respond than Google. It also allows me to take advantage of extra features if I want to, which is a plus. That’s why I’m sticking with OpenDNS, not because of the frankly ridiculous conspiracy theories about how Google is evil.

  • Matthew Shapiro

    I just need to mention this, because of all the complaining about OpenDNS hijacking NX records — YOU HAVE TYPO CORRECTION ENABLED on your account, if OpenDNS is hijacking your NX responses. Just disable that in Advanced Account Settings, and you’ll get the proper NX errors.

  • I have personally used both OpenDNS and Google DNS. Although I agree that OpenDNS is a far better service in terms of the number of features offered, I also want to draw attention to the fact that setting up Google DNS is much simpler. There’s no need to download and install any application (like I had to with Open DNS). Whether or not this is all a ploy by Google to control the Internet is left to be seen. May the most open, free content and content providers win!

    An easy explanation of what DNS is:

  • A

    i agree about awareness — i had no idea that you could mess with your dns at home (or work) until i read the google release and found this openDNS post via techmeme.

  • Luis Angel

    Thanks for the appropriate comment.
    This is only an opportunity to prove that OpenDNS it’s the best!

  • mP

    They may not be correlating particular DNS lookups to accounts but they still can gather statistics on what sites people visit and when. A primary motivation may be the promotion of logging visiting habits in much the same way search result links hit Google before redirecting to the actual site. By hosting a DNS service they can log and analyze albeit anonymously for purposes of understanding the habits of people.

    Lets not forget that Google exists for a single reason, namely to make money rather than charitable reasons. Each and every action or service they offer in the end is performed because of some business value. Lets not forget that a lot of Google services are abandoned or shut down when no advantage can be gained.

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  • Frank Collette

    The Google DNS launch prompted me to take a better look at the OpenDNS service that I have already been using for almost 2 years. I’ve signed up for an account in the past and have never really paid much attention to it. Without the Google DNS launch, chances are I would have never logged in to realize that OpenDNS offers the services that it does.

    I’ve turned on the features that I feel I would like just today, thanks for offering them! I’m quite sure more of the features OpenDNS offers will be needed when my kids get older!

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  • taleks

    Hm, I’ve tested domains resolving time from Russia, Khabarovsk for PublicDNS, OpenDNS and our local caching DNS server (local server cache was purged before tests).
    results are here:

    results are shown for first query time, average/minimal/maximum query time on base of ten sequential requests to server.

    Interpretation of results: in general OpenDNS is faster than PublicDNS in our network, but network transmit time overhead makes usage of local DNS server reasonable in sequential requests. OpenDNS resolved more domains, thus may be considered more reliable on tested subset of domains.

    Why OpenDNS resolved more domains… it’s interesting question, cause distribution of resoving statuses in whole log:
    status -2 (NXDOMAIN): 1384

  • @ DAVID

    I live here in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Here the government uses a proxy to filter things and there are no OpenDNS servers nearby. The nearest one is in Germany, if I am not wrong.

    I am thinking about using OpenDns because of speed

    Can I benefit out of OpenDNS? Will I have a much faster speed?

  • Peter

    I’ve used OpenDNS but going to give Google a try… mostly because I miss 404 – it’s better to leave me with blank than give me a search result, and weird as it is Google returns a 404 instead of a search result.

  • You

    Healthy competition and common development

  • The only problem i ever had with OpenDNS was that gmail took some time. That doesn’t happen with Google DNS. Otherwise Open DNS is much better.

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  • Well, I will try it but I prefer OpenDNS

  • aex

    Thanks for the great article David, keep it up!

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  • Amy

    Google still have more work to do in mean while i’ll just keep using OpenDNS its much better than any other DNS iv used

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  • Thanks for providing such great information, David Ulevitch and all who posted to this blog. I’m a fan of Google, so of course I had to research the benefits of using their DNS service. I currently use the DNS that my ISP provides, but now I know I have some real choices. At this point, it comes down to two factors: speed or security.

    I’ve decided to use OpenDNS because they can:
    1) provide filtering and better security
    2) speed up my current internet experience
    3) keep competition alive, giving users better services

    I’m passionate about the ever evolving technology. If Google’s DNS announcement has made me more aware, imagine the other countless users who are researching their DNS choices right now.

    May you continue to prosper, OpenDNS!

  • My IT professionals have given me enough information to know that DNS is important. I did not know about OpenDNS until I read an on-line article from PC World about Google’s new DNS service. So you are right, competition does help your business. On Monday my IT folks will be asked to provide me with an analysis of your services and their benefits for our company.

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  • rd001

    I just read about Google DNS at Ars, had been curious about alternative DNS servers for some time.

    I chose to start an account today, for the filtering and the other features. Speed isn’t everything and I find OpenDNS to be just as fast as my regular Qwest DNS service, maybe faster.

    You might consider focusing some outreach toward churches and groups like Boy Scouts to inform parents about your filtering service. There is a real area for growth and probably 95% of them have no idea you exist or what you offer for free.

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    I’ve been using OpenDNS for about 3 YEARS! Now I have a very large home network not a business just a large home network, that include 2 FTP Servers and about 10 PCS and 2 Xbox 360’s that are forever online, I love OpenDNS its fast and super reliable, I tried using Google Public DNS it was a little slower I noticed some lag while playing online, plus I feel much more comfortable using OpenDNS over Google DNS something about being dedicated in just one field make it better so for now and longtime to come ill stick with my OpenDNS

  • Bob T

    Why doesn’t OpenDNS discuss with Google about the possibility of Google using OpenDNS’s infrastructure or vice versa? Maybe a few bucks to be made for OpenDNS allowing them to expand and develop their infrastructure.

  • As much as I like using Google products/services. I’m staying loyal to OpenDNS on this one. No reason for me to switch & OpenDNS has been in the game a lot longer, yes 4 years is long to me.

  • Aemony

    This post made me choose OpenDNS over Google! :3

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  • That’s why I’m sticking with OpenDNS, not because of the frankly ridiculous conspiracy theories about how Google is evil.

  • Ok, i am fully aware that Google does a lot of filtering work, so the search engine is mainly compromised by those gentlemen in fine suits that want people to be undocumented (thank God for proxies and stuff) so what is my assurance that Google won’t apply the same principle here also. I am considering of tryiong out new DNSs so i am looking forward to YOU OpenDNS, and of course the Google thing, but Google is like a huge black whole, or actually a huge black mass like in a Pink Floyd vid, where everyone is mindcontrolled, so is the feeling i have by looking at Google, It has made a browser, it has spit out an operating system, Android, it has an abusive strategy in Youtube, you are toolbar-bombed from Google, and the google ads is just neat. From it’s initial starting posityion, i mean being a reliable search engine it has morphed into a money-hungry entity. Sorry if i gave a conspiracy taste to my post, and also sorry if i have some spelling errors, i am from Romania so not quite native english speaker.

  • crocodile_dondii

    Good post. once the people experience the customization of openDNS, they will never go back. And it absolutely IS the fastest look-up I have ever experienced. I used to use my own ISP’s DNS, and both servers were in a frequent state of turmoil, slow, and sometimes inaccessible.

    I discovered openDNS from a referral or Internet link, and have never looked back. openDNS rocks!

    Promote openDNS!

  • Alex

    Hello David,

    Obviously Google is up and running to get any web service over there. I hope that they will not turn to Evil as they claim not to. Google knows more data about myself than my mom does, I prefer to not to put all my eggs in the same basket.

    I have heard about OpenDNS more than a year ago from Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson’s podcast. I have been using OpenDNS since then (modulo a brief interruption that lasted for a few months). I appreciate the filters and the shortcut features that openDNS offers and I will certainly keep using it as my DNS server.

    Keep up the good work, we appreciate your efforts so much.

  • David Ovad

    Just go to “” and see some of what Google already knows about you and perhaps you’ll have a greater reluctance to giving Google your DNS as well because it will give them the total picture of your Internet activity. I have nothing to hide however it’s creepy to know that Google has such comprehensive data tracking. It’s pretty 1984…

  • Diversity and choice…..I’m with you David, Google clearly see the benefits to themselves and their user base to lifting the game in the DNS world. Something you guys have been doing for a while. Google are not the evil empire, as long as guys like you are “keeping the bastards honest”, they will positively contribute to greater public education and understanding.

  • Chris Hesselrode


    As you are well aware, I’m a huge promoter of OpenDNS and faithfully use it at home, but also in my data center network to allow me better insight and control.

    Your response to Google’s newest service offering is that of a true leader – one that acknowledges challenge and feeds upon it to make things better.

    I thank you for all you do, and can’t wait to see what Google’s DNS service means for us OpenDNS users as time goes on.

    Thanks again!

  • I agree that choice is good. but i would have preferred it coming from an open community rather than Google or another tech giant.

  • I put the OpenDNS server IP’s into my mobile but I have remembered them now anyway.

    I have found even the free version extremely usefull and reliable.

    I also get rather an uneasy feeling when companies like Google get so big and seem to wield alot of power ….

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  • yomoyomo

    I think that this post is also useful for Japanese people, so I translated into Japanese and published on my personal web site:

    I apologize for doing that without your permission.

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  • Halo effect has begun. I’m a new user of OpenDNS after Google’s DNS release. Long life to OpenDNS…

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  • micah

    Happy birthday David! and thanks for your work on OpenDNS, with Google’s announcement, I believe your work has become more important now than ever.

    Amusingly, I found out it was your birthday when I was reading and saw the link to Duck Duck Go, which I had never heard of and there on the front page was a shoutout for your birthday 🙂

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  • David – great post. I was wondering what your thoughts/response to this would be and I’m glad to hear it articulated this well. Now, if only you guys could get nicer looking IP addresses 🙂

  • itsmewhoelse

    Could not have been said better, or more professionally.

    Thank You.

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  • One more thing not mentioned: Google “Public” DNS also blocks streaming audio and video. I confirmed that in a test. Worse, their alleged telephone support line doesn’t give you support. It just has a handful of recorded setup and troubleshooting procedures. It’s a sham.


  • Two quick thoughts:

    1: “it’s not clear that Internet users really want Google to keep control over so much more of their Internet experience than they do already” – This is the main reason I won’t be using Google DNS. There’s something to be said about one company having so much influence over the web. Honestly, the size and power of Google is getting a little creepy.

    2: Google DOES go out of their way to explain clearly that they are not correlating any data with Google accounts, advertising, or anything else. You’re reaction to Peter Kasting up top was a little surprising to me. If you have concerns about their handling of data and protecting privacy, why not link to their actual Privacy Policy and comment accordingly? Indirectly calling them liars feels weak to me.

    I’ll continue to use OpenDNS because it’s fast, I love the service, it’s free, and it’s always up. The same reasons I use Google for email and search. Let’s all just try and keep the FUD to a minimum.

  • I can understand that google is actually doing this to aware the people about the security threats of using an unreliable DNS but that service is a newbie. I am using opendns and I am a satisfied user and I am not gonna change it anyway.

  • Zac

    Go Google! Better Google than Microsoft any day.

    The law enforcement agencies know which ISP I am with, which in turn know all about me. No need for Google. What about Microsoft and Yahoo? Oops, Yahoo search is now Microsoft Bing. No need for Google again. This whipping up fear of Google is playing right into the hands of Microsoft. Where is the whipping up the frenzy of fear of Microsoft. Microsoft has a monopoly on the desktop, achieved by dubious means at best, people use a default, IE, Bing, xbox live, hotmail, lock-in to its products etc and etc. You have more to fear from Microsoft than anything from Google.

    Anyway, I understand the reason for the post, ie Google DNS will in competition with openDNS.

    However, I support openDNS, but playing up the fear of Google is not the way to go. Beleive me, you will have alot more to fear from Microsoft. Just see.

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  • Excellent article very informative.
    OpenDNS is an excellent service and has been totally reliable for me and my clients, easy to use and implement as well as being very cost effective.

    I’ve been using OpenDNS for several years now, out here in Africa where I learnt one thing if it isn’t broken don’t fix it, OpenDNS is not broken I can see no reason at all to move unless it become broken.

    I also have severe reservations with using an aggressive company like Google controlling the entire web space / experience, they have excellent data mining / advertising services which I shall continue to use but I draw the line at core internet services like DNS it’s just not prudent.

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  • Why Love OpenDNS?

    1.)Wall Street Banks are too big to fail. They are too big to
    care. Google is getting to be too big to fail.

    2.)support PIONEERS and starters. America loves the small guy. Battle of David vs. Goliath. Bet on David who is nimble.

    3.)BotNets are bigger than SUPERCOMPUTER in America. Russian
    Business Network, etc. OpenDNS is the first line of defense.
    If you are an average person in the U.S. and you FEAR IDENTITY
    FRAUD because you are running TOTALLY secure – insecure –
    whatever – you guess it – WINDOWS then OpenDNS is ESSENTIAL.

    4.)thank you for your public service, you deserve AWARDS.
    5.)even works with – google tracks your habits,
    IP address, other privacy items.
    6.)OpenDNS Founder appears better and even smarter and
    MORE Handsome, in my personal opinion.

    7.)SSL has been broken. RSA one time authentication via
    device has been broken. OpenDNS has avoided MAJOR BREAKS.

    applause and thanks.

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  • GoogleObserver

    Everyone stupid enough – go on, use Google DNS.
    Do you have any idea how much of Internet traffic is now controlled by Google? Don’t you think that CIA or FBI is not needed anymore – if you can control just one company (Google) and have info about everyone on internet?

    How many of the following Google’s services allow user scanning?

    Search, Health, DNS, Mail, Documents, Picassa (pics), AdSense,
    Analytics (visits), Dictionary, Maps (location), Product Search, Contacts, Chart

    Small hint: all of them…

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  • Mark

    I’m sticking with OpenDNS.

    Google has their hand in way too many things on the internet already

  • I just signed up for OpenDNS after getting excited about Google DNS. I heard about them both today for the first time. I had no idea so many tools were available for DNS. The content filtering and speed are what got me on board.

    There you go – one new customer simply because Google launched a competing service. If OpenDNS provides a better product they have little to worry about I think.

  • I’ve been using Opendns for a couple of years, i don’t use filtering but it is way faster than my isp dns service.
    From my location google dns servers got lower ping latencies but slower dns resolution, so i’m stuck (and happy) with opendns.

  • As you mentioned having choices are a good thing. I hope more companies will offer us free DNS services

  • Joe

    Why all the fuss about a free DNS service from Google? It makes sense for them to explore ways to make the internet faster. It’s a simple matter of economy: A faster internet means a healthier internet which means thriving apps and happy users who spend more time online clicking through sponsored links. IMHO, it’s a win-win for Google and web users alike.

  • Dinesh Gaur


    I am using open dns for last 4-5 months and i think it is the best dns service i ever seen .dns filtering blocking these services of open dns are best it also help technical person to control on the network which websites are browse through our network.

    Open dns every time give me good replay the service is best .

    I am big fan of open dns.

  • I’m sure many of you will be wondering what the speed differences are. If you are using OpenDNS for only DNS and not filtering then you might consider Google, so the actual speed is what you’re looking for. Check out, this tool will compare OpenDNS and Google DNS speed. From what I found, OpenDNS is faster than Google!

    Thanks OpenDNS!

    I think now is the perfect time to focus on OpenDNS’s good features that it has over Google. Web filtering is the main reason we use OpenDNS, I’d like to see more time spent on this. Add things like scheduled domain blocking. (very important for business so employees can visit facebook during breaks and lunch hour), more specific stats – maybe by using installable client on domain controller. Just some ideas.

  • trendikola

    I am happy that I do not need anymore (instead I use But unfortunately google know too much about oneself, which I of course do not want….

    And that is why I submitted this idea in the idea bank: Maybe you will like it. 🙂

  • WOW, so many replies! I only bothered to read the first few ones…

    As far as I can see and understand, Companies place these Private Policies and such so that you know what they’re doing with whatever you’re doing around their services.

    The reason they allow us to read them is because they want us to check on them if they are actually doing what they are supposed to do. So that if they aren’t doing what they said they are supposed to do, then we have our own legal rights to sue them or so.

    I’m not a fan boy of any company because I use a wide variety of different products and services. I use Windows, but I also use a MAC from time to time (and would also love to have an iPhone). I use Google search and other webmaster tools (on a daily basis), but I use Yahoo Mail as my primary email and IM service. I use Rogers Internet, but I use OpenDNS (not that Roger’s DNS is bad, but I just have more control over at the DNS level with OpenDNS).

    Some companies just create centralized services that are optimized for each other so that use can use them seamlessly. They don’t really force you to use all their services, they just provide you with options. And it is up to you if you want to use all of their services, some, or none. This is how things improve, that’s through competition. And most of the companies are happy to have competition. Why? Because they want to see how ahead or behind they are from others. This helps they improve their products and services even more.

    Imagine if Google was the ONLY company to provide everything, do you think is there any reason for them to improve something? Maybe yes, but not as strong as it is because they know you WILL and WOULD use their product or service no matter what. Now, if there’s a competing company, even if it’s doing worse than they are, Google would be forced to improve their products and services so that the competing company can’t catch up. Now the other company will improve theirs, thus forcing Google to improve yet again.. and it goes on…. that’s how things work in the Business world.

    If you don’t like how they’re doing, just go to an alternative. If you can’t find any, sucks for you then. I guess you’ll be stuck there until someone tries to compete with a better product or service. But sometimes, it doesn’t matter how good a product or service is, sometimes it’s how confident you are to what the company can provide you. If you feel uncomfortable with a company, you can always switch. If you’re fine with them even if their product or service is sub-par, I guess it’s just fine to stay there.

    P.S. Reading TOSs, EULAs, Private Policies, and so on, is a good habit to do so that you can know the company better and know how things workout with them.

  • No Advertising?! Ha! I’m sure Google will put that later on.

    OpenDNS will own Google DNS for sure.

  • I’ve used google DNS alittle at home and at our new dc rack.

    I’m not pleased so far, I run a pfsense box at home and it’s a new location, new providers, etc.

    I get slow resolution, etc.

    We’ll see as more people speak about google dns

  • Hi After using opendns for some years I was interested to test out googles dns service ( i develop web sites and manage multiple domains) What has just struck me BIG time is the speed of propogation of new domain names compared between opendns and google ( I hope they dont read this!!)
    Creation of new sub domain, 1,20minutes and its available on the opendns network, 25 minutes later google has not propogated the name yet and I’m still waiting!! So google 1/10 (simply because it exists!) and Opendns 9/10!. Simple.
    The fact that ANYONE would consider giving their complete navigation information to google irrelevant if they are identified by their user account or by dns would be like giving microsoft your credit card number.
    If google put in place a service similar to yours this would be a disaster for all internet users leaving the door open for complete manipulation in the long term.
    You have an excellent service and I know my company and the companies and private users we support will continue to use in the future.
    PS Still no propogation google side 😉

  • Chris Thomas

    UK users of OpenDNS will find that it is easily the fastest DNS. I won’t be using Google DNS, no sir! OpenDNS is superb.

  • Canoro

    I am using Google DNS right now, testing it. I have been a long time user of OpenDNS and what I miss is the dashboard. The ability you give us to control our internet experience is something very important that you have over Google. You can grow the list of advantages over Google DNS and stay over Google, for example, people are reluctant to change their DNS because they are the everyday user, so to change their DNS they would have to call a technician. that would cost them money. that can be changed by providing a simple to use application to change their DNS for them, providing a better user experience. Also you could provide your website in another languages, reaching a wider audience, with Spanish you would have Latin America and Spain users, translate it in Japanese and Chinese and you are going to have Asia, translate it to the most widely used languages and the languages of the most important countries, and you are going to grow more globally.

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  • I am an avid Google Apps Virtualization evangelizer (outsourcing those horizontal apps in Telcos) yet, I couldn’t agree with you more about Google missing the true VALUE to DNS. Just watch out, David, when they wake up, you may be the next acquisition target. The bloggers here are probably your best emissaries to keep marketing OpenDNS. Keep up the great service.

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  • Mike

    Proof is in performance:

    These times are from my home 15mb fiber connection in California.

    Ping time
    >ping (google)
    27 ms average

    >ping (opendns)
    6 ms average


    >time dig @ (using google to lookup
    ;;Query time: 26 msec
    real 0m0.035s

    > time dig @ (using opendns to lookup
    ;; Query time: 6 msec
    real 0m0.016s

    Very impressive OpenDns!

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  • Diogo Santos

    I’m a big Google fan. I use a bunch of their products.

    I’ve tested their DNS service. It’s not faster than OpenDNS. It won’t even open some web pages.

    For now I’m still using OpenDNS.

    But I think Google can provide a much much faster DNS service. Let’s wait a while.

  • Thanks. Very good

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  • David:

    I found out about OpenDNS by using the grc benchmark:

    I’ts the best piece of advertising that you people have got going, and you may
    not have known about it. I learned about the google dns service first, and then began researching the topic more in-depth. When I ran the DNS benchmark, it
    showed openDNS as the hands down winner. I went ahead and started using it immediately, without signing up. After finding your site, I am even more happy about your service. Google has a long way to go, to reach the level of service where OpenDNS has been and continues to be. How can we help spread the word? I already passed it on to several friends, and will gladly send it to more.

    David B. Alford

  • Watchmouse did some independent research and found opendns to be overal more reliable as i.e. googledns; see the test here:

  • Ahmed

    Opendns is the best without comparison

  • Thank you by your reliable DNS service! It would be nice to have an openDNS server at south america too.

    Best regards from Unihost Brasil tech. team.

  • I’ve worked with several large hosting companies in the past few years and after dealing with DNS related issues none stop for years on end, I have fallen in love with opendns. If you have ever had to explain to someone why their website is coming up and it has NOTHING to do with your service you provide to them, rather their crappy ISP not updating their records when the TTL is set to 3 minutes and has not updated in over a week.

    That being said, I prefer a service like this because when you leave it to the big boys… things like time to live can be ignored and you are left frustrated if you do not know other means of accessing a site like IP address… That is if you have your own dedicated IP, but some folks dont shell out the extra $$$ for it. If not, you are SOL cause explaining relative paths on a shared server to some folks can be a headache.

    I have tested OpenDNS on several ISP’s, and have found just by using Open DNS for DNS has sped up internet browsing significantly.

    Bottom line David is that you have a great product and it works well. I am not going anywhere anytime soon, and I hope that everyone else does the same.

  • Elton

    Did some tests and from Hawaii, OpenDNS still resolves faster then Google DNS.

    We’ll we sticking with OpenDNS.

  • I use opendns at home because of the filtering, and even configured the home router to drop all port 53 traffic except to opendns, it makes things more safe at home – from the firehose of garbage on the net and spyware.

    If the wife and kids learn how to get around it, I’ll put them to work doing the printer and whatnot support I currently do. 🙂

    About Google being faster.. “you know if the DNS queries were 5ms faster, I could waste time more effiently..”

    I surf way too slowly for even 3s lookups to matter.

  • mohamed Elkhateeb

    I use opendns . I love their service. I will never leave opendns.

  • Google’s main claim is better performance. I’ve been tracking both of your services for a few weeks now, and Google certainly isn’t performing any better (sometimes worse), and as you pointed out, lacks all your features.

    You can see the stats on

  • ya.. i have been tracking the performance of both the Dns using namebench a google project itself..
    Open Dns Rocks..

  • Is there a neutral review somewhere?
    I still haven’t changed and do not intend to either (move from OpenDNS to Google).
    BTW…My biggest fear is that Google, will soon start behaving like Oracle…if you can’t beat them … BUY them.

  • ya agreed open dns is best so far…. don’t depend on a single company for all your internet habits. I am afraid that internet is hijacking by a single big company, very dangerous for internet world. There should be many competitive company and i don’t like monopoly…..:-)

  • More and more we see the giant called google growing.
    I commend them for their open source approach but there are area which they just don’t belong.

    They are like the Walmart of the internet…..taking over our world one piece at a time.

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  • Eugen J. Woiwod

    I’ve been using OpenDNS for over a year now and I have been EXTREMLY satisfied with the service and all of the features, especially in blocking and filtering malicious websites, ad servers, you name it.

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  • @Patrick
    Watchmouse did some independent research and found opendns to be overal more reliable as i.e. googledns; see the test here:

    Thanks for sending the link Patrick. I have been using the dns/server monitoring service of for some time. They have several checkpoints worldwide similar to openDNS. They are offering a tool/widget to keep track of your dns/server availability. (Similar to the OpenDNS tool which updates your IP address in the background.)

    By using their services, I have noticed that some of our server ports (http/https/mail) had frequent outages/failures whenever we seem to have some traffic on our site.

    As a normal website owner, I find all these services pretty scary and complicated (for non-tech-dns-server-geeks). I mean, you pay and rely on your ISP and your web hosting company. Right? And now, you find out that it is recommended to use and pay for a service such as Open DNS to check and double check the DNS infrastructure. Then you should use a service of another company that checks that the server, hosting services, server ports and the DNS servers of your web hosting company are running and operating accordingly. Then you should check that your certificates are operational and functional. Then you should check that your PHP scripts are operating as they should.

    After all the experiences I have made so far, I am asking myself. Do all these services bring more trust and confidence to the entire IT or do these services provoke a huge mistrust in the entire IT-market?

  • M

    I have been using opendns at home for about a year and have been very satisfied. I have kids at home and I dont know of any other content filtering software thats is this effective. I will stick with DNS. However I would like to see more features like a periodic log which lists the url, time spend on each website,option to block all websites other than those allowed. Permission to access website at specific intervals, auto block access to internet after a certain interval, et al. I would gladly pay a nominal fee to have these options. Great service, neverthless!!

  • You know, it’s amazing how much we rely on Google already. I will be the first one to admit that I haven’t seen Google do anything bad, but what happens when Google alters it’s course and decides to take a different approach? (or maybe when someone else commercially, governmentally, or otherwise makes a decision for them?)

    1.) Do I love what Google offers?
    2.) Do you love what Google offers?
    3.) Is Google asking you to love them even more?
    4.) Is giving a single organization so much control a wise decision on your part?
    (your answer goes here)

    The way I see it, heavy data collection by a single organization allows that organization to sculpt individual fingerprints for each and every one of us. I mean, we’re talking about much more than a.) what you Googled for 5 years ago, or b.) who emailed you on your last birthday. What are you thoughts? Your habits? Your likes/disklikes? Who are your friends/family? What do you share with them? (the list keeps going)

    In my opinion, what Google is doing can be compared to a very complex, long-term behavioral science project — and to give them that much more insight is only bringing higher contrast and resolution to the patterns of our daily/weekly/yearly lives. 20 years from now, Google will still be writing journal entries in it’s diary about us. If nothing else, it’s just plain creepy.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist… I’m just stating the obvious. My point of view comes from that of an intrigued and enthusiastic web developer and small business owner. My hobby? Research. Research. Research.

    And as a web developer, I would like to point out that I’m not against Google at all. They provide very valuable services that I use extensively every day. I just urge everyone to do some useful research and to avoid making blind decisions. Remember the saying, “If it’s too good to be true…”?

    I would simply like you, the diligent reader, to be aware of the implications of the decisions you’re making. If nothing else, please raise your awareness when making the bigger decisions, like those involving your privacy. And if you can help others to make informed decisions, even better!

    My prescription? Support your independent contractors, Keep small business alive, and promote competition. We need it now more than ever.

    That said, my OpenDNS account will be upgraded to a paid version by the time anyone catches a glimpse of this post. 😉

    Thanks for such a great service, David Ulevitch (and team)!

    Mike Edmondson

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  • Brandon Gray

    Thanks for a great post, David. I’m very happy to see awareness raised over these issues and competing service differentiation such as this. I’m a happy OpenDNS user both at home and work for nearly 3 years. Keep up the great work!

    @Rob Shaw-Fuller (posted Dec 3, 2009 at 2:13 pm)

    There are other ways to limit your exposure. Depending upon what sort of firewall or router you are using, one option would be to set a rule that limits any internal DNS traffic to come from only specific internal IP addresses. In a server/client environment this could be useful to “force” the client machines to query your server, or conversely only allow DNS traffic to route out externally to OpenDNS servers or another specific external DNS IP address, etc. I have used a few different variations on these two approaches to make the network flow the way I see fit.

    Happy recursion everyone! 🙂 – Brandon

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  • Rory Anonymous

    Google Fanboys think everything they touch is Gold. Chrome for example, it’s just an OK browser – nothing special. But because it’s GOOGLE Chrome people flock to it and defend its honor at all logical cost. Google DNS will be the same way. To some people because it’s “Google” it’s automatically better and more trustworthy.

    I’ve been using OpenDNS for years with no issues. I see no reason to switch.

  • ben

    I think the one thing opendns should give to all just like google is
    Malware site protection

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  • Rotundo Pierluigi

    To me open dns is way more better 🙂

    Rotundo Pierluigi

  • Personally, I think that is a great thing. As you mentioned in the article Google is now a competitor, and I think it’s great that you guys now have more competition. Good luck, and may the most innovative win.

    -Ravi G

  • Teckspecks

    I still prefer using OpenDNS it has security features and responsive website accessing, i own an internet cafe chain here and my customers are still satisfied with the service. Keep it up OpenDNS team!!! two thumbs up!!!

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  • ccc353

    This post seems more like an attack at google for providing a similar but as you outlined possibly less featured service. If the OpenDNS service is a different experience than that of Google DNS, there shouldn’t be a problem co-existing.

    Just my thoughts.

  • Good competition always bring good services.

  • Conor

    @Rob Shaw-Fuller

    Configure your DNS at the router level, and don’t let them have admin on any machines. That way the kids won’t be able to bypass the dns and your sorted.

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