If you feel that your Internet connection and surfing speed is sluggish and slow at times, even though you’re using high speed cable modems or DSL broadband Internet access, it may be because that you’re using your ISP’s DNS services by default, which may be slow. DNS or Domain Name System is a service that stores, associates, translates and resolves the easy-to-remember domain names or human addresses of websites and servers (e.g. wikipedia.org) to the hard-to-remember IP addresses or numerical address used by computers (e.g. 184.108.40.206), which is needed for a web browser to locate the server on the Web to fulfill user’s requests.
The resolution and workaround to slow ISP’s DNS resolver is use a third party DNS resolver such as OpenDNS. The advantages of the OpenDNS are that OpenDNS runs on a big and smart cache contributed by activities of the broader OpenDNS user base, beside also runs on a high-performance network which is geographically distributed and serviced by several redundant connections, so that any DNS query request will be reliably responded from nearest location.
OpenDNS also has added benefits of domain name typo correction feature where OpenDNS will correct any spelling or typo mistake on the URLs on the fly, or display search results for error that OpenDNS can’t recognize. OpenDNS also intercepts phishing sites with warning for safer surfing. Best of all, OpenDNS is free, and the only difference from using the default ISP’s DNS server is that you will see landing page with advertisements and organic search results when the URL or domain entered is not valid and not a typo OpenDNS can fix.
However, as most OpenDNS DNS servers and networks of DNS caches are located in US, so generally if you’re out of North America, you may actually experience slow down instead of blazing faster. But since OpenDNS is free, no software to install, no registration needed, and configuration takes less than 2 minutes, there is no harm to try out OpenDNS.