A visit to what appeared to be a legitimate site a while back, but what later turned out to be a phishing site, had me concerned. If someone with as much technical and web savviness as myself could be duped, what chance would the average Joe have (no pun intended!). In an effort to eliminate these potentially harmful sites from my browsing experience, I first looked at a variety of software packages, from Symantec, McAfee and even solutions like NetNanny. But what they all lacked was a near bullet proof way to keep these sites from reaching your PC. After further research, I was convinced that perimeter security was my best bet. Think of it as the razor wire fence surrounding your home as opposed to the locked door that can be kicked open.
While nothing can eliminate 100% of all threats, perimeter security improves your chances of not getting infected, hacked or otherwise plundered online by nearly eliminating these threats before they ever reach your PC. Of all the perimeter defences you can deploy, nothing is as simple as changing your DNS servers to one that is designed to block the nasty sites. OpenDNS is one such service that I have been using for over 4 years, and it does a great job of not only protecting my online activity, but it give me a way to control what content I let into my network. Want to block file share sites on your network? No problem. What to block one particular site, but not the whole category -you have a Facebook page for your company, but don't need to open up social netowrks? No problem!
DNS stands for Domain Name Service. It helps your browser translate the name you type (google.com) into the IP address (126.96.36.199) that uniquly identifies the server(s) that host the site. Every ISP (Internet Service Provider) like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast or your business internet service provider will give you DNS services. The problem with most of them is they do nothing to help you control the trafffic, them simply point you on your way. By using OpenDNS, you gain complete control over the sites you can and cannot visit, and it can block a vairety of other unwanted intrusions...all before they ever make it onto your network or your PC.
With pricing plans starting at FREE, yes, as in free lunch, to household plans for $9.95/year and pricing for commercial customers as well, OpenDNS can accomadate any budget. Please note, that while OpenDNS can prevent may problems before they happen, you should always have a good anti virus and firewall application running on your PC. For that I reccomend COMODO.