OpenDNS – Speedy Internet in Ubuntu

29 05 2007

OpenDNS has richly enhanced my internet experience. I have been using the service for about 6 months now and have always noticed a difference between page load times on networks using OpenDNS and networks using their ISP’s DNS. OpenDNS is great because it caches frequently visited websites more often and flat-out has a bigger cache than what your local ISP provides. The end result is a faster internet. Some additional features include spell-checking when you accidently type in “craigslist.og” and anti-phishing prevention. OpenDNS maintains PhishTank which is a blacklist of known phishing websites. Shortcuts is a great feature which allows me to type in “bball” to go directly to the Phoenix Suns homepage.


Here is how you can setup OpenDNS in Ubuntu:

  1. Run: sudo gedit /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf
  2. Change the prepend line to read: prepend domain-name-servers,;
  3. Run: sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

What we just did here was prepended the OpenDNS addresses to the top of the DNS list. You don’t have to worry about the DHCP client overwriting settings on each reboot or lease cycle, and your ISP nameservers will still be used as backup.

The only issue I had with OpenDNS was that it would not work in locations that used their own DNS through a proxy. For example, I wasn’t able to use OpenDNS at the local Starbucks which used T-Mobile HotSpot to connect to the internet. This is due to the fact T-Mobile forces you to use their own DNS. There is nothing OpenDNS can really do about that – but overall my OpenDNS experience has been great and the internet keeps on blazing.