Occasionally, when I’m stuck for time, I’ll post an edited version of an earlier article. In choosing an appropriate article, I try to focus on a free application or service that has real value, but is often underappreciated. More and more often though, I’m finding that a free application I reviewed is no longer free, or the free service I recommended, no longer exists.
Another one bites the dust.
Regular reader Georg L., has just notified me that ClearCloud DNS, a free DNS alternative (reviewed here September 5, 2010) which prevented users from visiting sites identified as harboring malware exploits, will be closing the curtain – effective September 1, 2011.
If you are currently using ClearCloud DNS, you will need to reconfigure your network connection prior to September 1, so that your Internet connectivity is not interrupted. You can learn how to remove ClearCloud DNS from your computer by clicking here.
If you’re convinced that an alternative DNS service has value, and you wish to continue to harden your system by substituting your ISP provided DNS service, with a more secure alternative – you have a number of choices to consider, including – Norton DNS, with Norton Safe Web.
Benefits of running with Norton DNS:
Malware Site Blocking – Automatically blocks known dangerous and infected Web sites. Provides a complete overview of the threats found so you know why a site is blocked.
Web Content Filtering – Lets you block Web sites that contain content that you think is inappropriate or dangerous. You can choose from over 45 different categories of content to block and specify individual sites to block.
Here’s an example of Norton DNS in action following my clicking on a spam comment link.
Further investigation of the Threat Report, reveals the following.
Pretty scary stuff, I think you’ll agree.
You can install Norton DNS either by download and running the installer or, if you want to have a bit of fun – you can choose to install manually. At first glance, you may think this is complicated when it fact, it’s quite easy. So, give it a try, and don’t be nervous.
The screen captures below, reflect the changes I made.
Manual Setup for Windows:
Open the Control Panel from your Start menu.
Click Network Connections and choose your current connection.
On the General tab of the Connection Status screen, click Properties.
On the General tab of Connection Properties, scroll down and select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click Properties.
On the General tab of Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties, select Use the following DNS server addresses, then enter the two NortonDNS IP addresses 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
Click OK until each window is closed. You are now using NortonDNS.
Once installation is complete, you will be presented with the following confirmation screen.
To ensure that you have in fact, been successful in making the change, visit this Norton page. The page will let you know if you are currently using Norton DNS.
System requirements: Windows XP (32-bit) with Service Pack 2 or later, Vista (32-bit and 64-bit) Win 7 (32-bit and 64-bit).
Download at: Norton DNS
Note: Uninstalling or canceling Norton DNS is easy – simply uninstall it. The process will revert your DNS settings to their previous values.
Additional free alternatives include OpenDNS, and Google Public DNS.
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