THE SECRET CODE

OpenDNS.com gives you a free alternative to your Internet service provider during a DNS outage.

“DNS” stands for Domain Name System, and that’s basically the phone book for the Internet. When you type in a domain name, like OnComp.com, or Yahoo.com, DNS translates the name to the numerical address that the computer can understand.

Knowing where to get an alternative DNS service can be useful at times. For instance, the large ISP Comcast had a DNS outage last year, meaning they couldn’t translate the Web addresses into their numerical codes. That was no problem for users who had followed the instructions at OpenDNS.com.

Some users say following those instructions results in faster service, but we didn’t notice any difference. OpenDNS also warns you if you’re about to visit dangerous Web sites, the so-called “phishing” sites.

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