OpenDNS Shortcuts – Powering Browser Addressbar

April 24th, 2007

OpenDNS, a free DNS resolution services, that claims to offer faster internet speeds to users who redirect traffic through its nameservers has now started offering free customizable browser address keywords with a branding of OpenDNS shortcuts. The idea, however, is not new and nor his effort. It is already available on almost all the leading browsers.

  1. Opera – Assign the nickname to the bookmarks.
  2. Firefox – Shortcut feature is available by adding an entry to the keyword field in properties window of every bookmark.
  3. Internet Explorer – Assign Ctrl-Alt shortcuts in property window of bookmark. IE lacks a text keyword capability, though it offers Ctrl-Alt combination shortcuts.

The advantage of OpenDNS shortcut is that it can be applied across an organization network so that a shortcut say “in”  takes everyone in the organization to the intranet website, no matter what browser they are using. But this can be done by adding “in” as a DNS record in the organization’s DNS server or by adding a entry on “in” in the hosts file of every computer.

How to use OpenDNS?
Change the default DNS server address provided by your ISP with the following DNS addresses

The DNS server can be changed from the TCP/IP Properties section. [Control Panel -> Network Connections -> Local Network Connection -> TCP IP Properties]

How to create OpenDNS shortcuts?

  1. Change your Default DNS Server
  2. Create an OpenDNS account
  3. Go to Shortcuts webpage, enter keyword in shortcut and url in website box and press Create Shortcut button. Done!!


  1. OpenDNS gives an impression of open source project.
  2. It removes the redundancy that traditional form of DNS offers.
  3. Centralization of the system makes it more susceptible to failure

Discuss it

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  1. Thank you for writing about OpenDNS. About your criticisms…

    1. We chose the word open because we are opening up the black box that has been DNS, to make it safer, faster, smarter and more reliable. No intention of confusion with open-source, which we use, enjoy, and have contributed to.

    2. OpenDNS doesn’t remove any redundancy. In fact, we add to it. We run five independent distributed network nodes, any one of which can operate our service. We follow the global roots; we’re a recursive DNS service, so we’re not replacing anything except the DNS you get today from your ISP or organization.

    3. See my note about the five network nodes: any one or more can go down, and all DNS requests will seamlessly be redirected and responded to at the next closest node. See for more details on our reliability.

    John Roberts

  2. Thanks for your reply John and very impressed seeing your enthusiasm to make the people aware of your OpenDNS.

    1. You intention may not be to confuse people but they are confused and think it is a open source project.

    2. Redundancy is removed in a sense that you cache the information and don’t check the other servers for the update unless and until they don’t inform you about the DNS change. Check NSLog for the reported issue.

    3. All the five independent distributed network nodes are owned by same organization which centralised the authority and make it more susceptible to failure.


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