Ever wonder how, when you type a web site address, your web browser knows where to go? It’s not like there’s a tiny mailman in your computer that knows where to deliver your request. DNS (“domain name system”) servers are servers on the internet that convert domain names (like “yahoo.com”) into unique ip addresses (like 184.108.40.206) to connect you to your internet destination.
Most computers are set up to use the internet service provider’s DNS servers. For example, if you have Verizon DSL, your network is probably using Verizon’s own DNS servers to convert domain names into ip addresses. Here is a partial list of ip addresses for Verizon’s DNS servers.
Just because you are using your ISP’s DNS servers doesn’t mean you have to or that it’s the best choice. Alternative DNS servers can help protect you from dangerous web sites by providing services that your ISP’s DNS servers don’t. For example, DNS servers can detect a typo and block you from accidentally going to a hacked website by blocking known dangerous sites. (See this post for more info on the dangers of going to the wrong web site by mistake.)
If you have employees (or kids), using an alternative DNS server can allow you to customize your DNS settings to block certain web sites such as time-wasting sites or pornographic sites.
Our preferred DNS server is OpenDNS. You can visit OpenDNS for all the information you need to get started, but if you need a little help, we can set up OpenDNS for you. Just get in touch with us. Safe browsing!