Open DNS relies on your IP address to keep you protected; this utility keeps it up to date
Open DNS is a very useful service for helping you stay safe online. The DNS server is used by your operating system to translate a web address such as www.computeractive.co.uk into the server IP address used by the browser to get the page.
This address is a number in four parts such as 192.168.2.2, which is why we use web addresses that are easier to remember. Open DNS filters its list of addresses to block known phishing sites and can also be used to give you control over sites accessed from your network.
In order to block websites, Open DNS needs to identify your network and it does this with your IP address. The problem is that most broadband accounts don't come with a fixed account. Every time you reconnect your address will be different.
The Open DNS Updater is the solution to this problem as it will send changes to your IP address to Open DNS so your network stay protected.
Installation is very quick and simple. Afterwards you will need to sign in with your username and password with Open DNS. There is an option to create an account on the login screen. There is no charge for home users; all you need is an email address.
Once you have created an account on the Open DNS website, you will need to check your email and click on the link in the confirmation message. You will then be able to sign in to the Open DNS utility.
There is one more step, which is to create a network on your Open DNS account. This allows you to set different rules in different places. Click on the link 'add a network'. Enter your IP address in the boxes (if you don't know what it is, it's shown at the top of the webapge) and click on the Add this network button. Give the network a name such as Home, leave the dynamic option selected and click on Done. An email will be sent to your account email address to confirm that this is your IP address.
Go back to the utility and click on Refresh Networks. As only one network has been created it will be selected automatically.
The utility will also check if you are using the Open DNS servers on your network connect. It doesn't matter if you have set this on your router and left Windows getting the settings automatically or if you have set Windows to OpenDNS.
It is worth checking the settings page as you can set it to run hidden, which is a useful way of keeping icons in the Notification Area down. The Dns-O-Matic updates mean you can update other services at the same time including no-ip.com and DynDNS.
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