Google Public DNS and the LocalHost &

Remember a few years ago when everyone was posting the encryption key for DVD’s all over the internet. Well I have a pretty good feeling that all the eights, double eight double four might very well become the new magic numbers. So why is Google DNS such a good announcement?

There are a few major security reasons not to use the DNS service that is forced down from your open WiFi connection, public access point or even your local ISP. Number one is the fact that either one of these providers can hi-jack certain domain names and redirect you to a site of their preference and in some more nefarious scenarios they can set up a wide range of domain typos to go to some pages of their preference.

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You need to know that the person who provides you with Internet access has your best interest in mind and is not simply trying to look after themselves. Imagine if your ISP suddenly fell out of favour with Netflix or iTunes and decided to open up their own media content store (sound like anyone you know in Canada yet: 3ell, Ro88ers, 5haw). This same provider could very easily make it more difficult to route you to the correct server, or even take advantage of erraneous request to send you one if it’s own competing pages should you make a typo rather than doing the current Google thing: “Did you mean: iTunes?”

And the OpenDNS project does not inspire much confidence me either, the very fact that they use the word “Open” to imply GNU type of approach and then take advantage of Google Adsense revenue on every page served without sharing that revenue with  you if you implement their solution. I have no problem with Free As In Beer tools that take advantage of advertising to offer a good product, but I do have very big issues with these same FAIB tools using the Free As In Speech banner to promote their revenue generating product. If I decide to implement a ad based solution in my company, I would expect to receive some of the revenue generated from the ads. Anything else just FEELS wrong and kind of Douchey.

So why use the Google DNS service at all? We all know that Google makes a ton of money ads. Wouldn’t using a service like Google just be the same thing? For one,  Google’s mission in this project is to simply make the InterWebs faster:

As people begin to use Google Public DNS, we plan to share what we learn with the broader web community and other DNS providers, to improve the browsing experience for Internet users globally. The goal of Google Public DNS is to benefit users worldwide while also helping the tens of thousands of DNS resolvers improve their services, ultimately making the web faster for everyone.

That is a tall mission that I think only someone with the clout and track record of Google could ever pull off. The official Google Code blog has a lot more to say about speed, security and validity. As usual Google actually is opening up this project’s code in order to learn faster and build and solid and robust package. As for any ad revenue generated from the page badly typed in, so far I have not seen any. The browser only seems to return a standard error page. Which I personally prefer because it’s fast and very very easy to tell what went wrong.

The biggest issues I have had so far have been accessing the Sharepoint site at work which was immediately resolved by properly setting up the site and services in my hosts and lmhosts.sam file.

Host line to add:
192.168.x.123 sharepoint # where the ipaddress is that of the Sharepoint server

lmhosts.sam line to add:
192.168.x.123 sharepoint #PRE #where the ip address ins that of the Sharepoint server

However the still have a very slight issue with my Outlook getting disconnected from the Exchange server. I’ll post an update as soon as I figure it out. If you have already encountered this, please feel free to post your solution in the comments.

That’s it. Once you get all that sorted out you should be in for smooth sailing. If your running Mac OS X or a *Nix distro you should also be able to make the same changes to these files or the appropriate admin tools.

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