Hi everybody in this issue we are going to talk about the importance of your DNS numbers and what it all has to do with security. I am sure most of you have heard the term DNS used on many occasions but you may not know exactly what these numbers do. As you may recall, the Internet was almost supposed to come to a halt on July 9th because of the DNS changer virus but that scare never became a reality. Most of us took the precautions that were necessary to ensure that this problem did not happen so the effects were minimal.
Essentially, your DNS settings specify what server your Internet requests are going to go through. Most Internet service providers have their own set on DNS numbers that allow your requests to be routed through their servers, this allows easy access to the Internet with no external configuring. For many people this default configuration is just fine. If you want the best security and the fastest speed possible, you should be using the free service known as Open DNS. This company offers a set of DNS numbers that will not only increase in browsing speeds but will add the added benefit of added security at the server end far away from your computer and router. Many major corporations and companies use this service alike. When you configure these numbers into your computer or router, you will be protected from many listed phishing sites as well as some of the most ruthless virus infections. The service offers both free (fine for most users) as well as paid subscriptions. The paid version allows more flexibility in what you can block from their end. A home user can get a paid account for as little as 10.00 a year. This is a small price to pay for the added security you can achieve.
There are several ways you can use Open DNS in your network. Probably the easiest way to be sure all your devices are protected is to add the numbers to your router, The Open DNS numbers are 126.96.36.199 Primary and 188.8.131.52 for the Secondary. When you log into your router, look for an option on the main configuration page to add static DNS numbers to. Be sure to save your settings after you enter the numbers. Setting up your router in this manner will ensure that every device that connects to the network will automatically be protected.
If you do not have a router, many modems will also allow this type of configuration. Check with your ISP if you are not sure. If you prefer, you can add the DNS numbers to each of your computers manually. Depending on your operating system you will first go to your control panel, then open network connections (XP) or network and sharing center (Vista and 7). In XP, look for your Local Area Connection and/or Wireless connection and right click on the icon. In Windows 7, click on the active connection listed on the properties page. In XP you will be highlighting Internet Protocol VER 4 and clicking Properties. Put a tick in the Use The Following DNS Numbers box. You will now have 2 spaces to add the numbers to. Add the numbers as listed above. Close the boxes and restart if asked to do so. In Windows 7, click the properties button and then in the window that opens highlight Internet Protocol ver 4 and click properties again. You will now have the box where you can tick the Use Following DNS Numbers and add the numbers. Again, add them as listed above. Close all open boxes and restart if asked to do so.
Congratulations, you are now surfing the web with more security and peace of mind. If you want more configuration possibilities, go to opendns.com and get yourself a free account and then you will be able to choose what you want to block and what you want to allow. This can be a great tool for parents. If you have a static IP from your Internet provider, simply use that when you sign up. If you have a changing dynamic IP, they provide a software utility that will automatically configure and manage your IP address as it changes.
Author: Joe Zelenak, Staff Writer