Thought Leadership

Use OpenDNS as an Additional Home Security Layer

Information Security by Mainstream TechnologiesSecurity while online has never been more important, especially with the recent release of government hacking tools and exploits.  You hear a lot about Mainstream taking precautions for protection, but it is also very important for you to protect your computers and network at your home.

We would like to recommend that each of you consider OpenDNS as an additional layer of your home security. There are free versions of this product for personal use and OpenDNS is also one of the products that Mainstream uses in our office.

What is Open DNS?

Open DNS works by replacing your ISP DNS servers with OpenDNS servers so that malicious servers are blocked at the name resolution level. It works on any internet connected device such as phones, tablets, laptops, Xbox, PS4, etc.

You can protect every device in your house with one simple change to which DNS server you use.

More product information can be found at  If you have children at home that get online (even with tablet and smartphone), we highly recommend this.  Remember, you need multiple layers of protection, and OpenDNS is very effective and an easy one to add, AND it’s FREE for basic personal use.


More info

OpenDNS is not a scanning agent like Anti-Virus or a Malware scanner. Instead, The OpenDNS servers maintain a list of servers by DNS names including the category of what’s on that server. If your device requests the name lookup for a known malicious server or a name lookup for a blocked category, it sends you to a page with a blocked message on it rather than return the blocked servers IP.

A couple of examples

You visit your favorite fantasy football website and it displays advertisements on the edges of the screen.  These advertisements usually come from add-servers not controlled by the sports site. If one of the ads is from an infected adobe flash and it is coming from a server known to be infected, then OpenDNS will block it from even resolving the name of the server it is coming from.

Another example

If your machine happens to fall victim to ransomware exploit, that ransomware is going to issue a call to its master server for exchange of encryption keys. It does this using a name and not IP address as IP’s can be traced and blocked quickly. If OpenDNS knows that name, then the call home will fail for that ransomware’s call home. Of course, we would expect that OpenDNS would block the server that delivered the ransomware in the first place by the same method, but this serves as an example.

For more information about how to use layered defenses for your cybersecurity, click here for an illustration.

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