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How to switch to OpenDNS in Ubuntu for faster browsing

Users are always seeking to speed up their web-browsing experience but short of upgrading your connection speed or switching ISP what can else can you do?

Switch your DNS to OpenDNS.

Huh? DNS? What?

Behind the scenes of your web-browser, twitter clients and torrent apps your computer is communicating with a ‘DNS (domain name system)’ sever which handles the task of  looking up the actual numerical IP address of the URLs that you are trying to access and thusly it connects you.

Annoyingly it is this which can often prove to be the bane of your internet existence. For example, your default DNS server is provided by your ISP and if it becomes slow then time it takes to “resolve” the web address you’re trying to access will impact on the overall loading time of the website.

Capiche?

Thankfully there is a better – and totally free – alternative out there that offers a stable, faster & more feature-filled alternative.

What OpenDNS can do

OpenDNS is available to use for free and comes with plenty of features that make it a more desirable option over that of your ISP – not least of which is speeding up your browsing!

OpenDNS works anywhere in the world via a global network of servers that ensure all of your DNS requests automatically go to the OpenDNS server that’s physically closest to you.

“The result is an immediately-noticeable faster, more reliable Internet for everyone in your household.”

The service is so good it’s even used by many well-know brands all over the world, with customers ranging from Nvidia & BP to Lush! cosmetics and  DC shoes.

More features

OpenDNS offers much more than a nippier way to poke people on Facebook with further options offering URL ‘typo’ correction, phishing protection,and, optionally, content filtering.

A so-called ‘SmartCache’ feature…

“…finds and locates the last known good IP address for Web sites that are experiencing difficulty, making Web sites that are down for the rest of the Internet load for OpenDNS users.”

which came to the rescue of yours-truly when OMG! Ubuntu! switched servers several weeks back; for the first few hours the only users able to visit the site were OpenDNS users!

Using

To use OpenDNS – even for free – you do have to sign up for an account. This is no major hassle and requires nothing more than for you to supply a username, e-mail and password.

After which you can get on to the mildly exciting part – enabling OpenDNS!

Switching to OpenDNS in Ubuntu

Now you’ve signed up you will need to switch over to OpenDNS to benefit. This isn’t particularly difficult as long as you pay attention and follow all of the steps below.

  • Right-click on ‘Network Icon’ (located at top-right panel by default) and click on ‘Edit Connections’ to open Network Connections Manager
  • Choose the type of connection you have. As I connect via WiFi my screenshots refer to show ‘Wireless’ however the dialogue for ‘Wired’ connections have the same options needed for this in the same places.
  • Under ‘Wireless’ or ‘Wired’ highlight the connection you use (normally prepended with ‘Auto’) and click on ‘Edit’.

  • Inside the editing window that opens click on the ‘IPv4 Settings’ tab
  • Under ‘IPv4 Settings’, change the ‘Method’ to ‘Automatic (DHCP) addresses only’

  • Put these name server addresses as your ‘DNS Servers’:
    • 208.67.222.222, 208.67.220.220
  • Click ‘OK’ and reboot.
  • Now visit the link below to to confirm you are using OpenDNS

For more information on OpenDNS refer to the official site @ opendns.com