DNS Management Software: What you Need to Know


Did you know that when monitoring websites, Monitis also monitors your site’s Domain Name System (DNS). This is a crucial aspect of web technology, and it is extremely important to make sure that your DNS is working efficiently, because essentially what it does is give your website visitors accurate and fast content. And isn’t that what keeping customers is all about?

To help you decide which DNS products are the best for your IT, Monitis is kicking off a series of new posts that identify and outline the pros and cons of major DNS providers. Below, we’ve begun with a roster of DNS hosted service providers. And, in our next blog, we’ll outline DNS software solutions.

A bit About DNS


DNS is basically a distributed database of computers forming part of a network, enabling simplified local control of all of the database segments. As a result, DNS makes each segment available through the network in a client-server scheme. It contains mappings of DNS domain names to data. In addition, DNS is a protocol for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) networks. DNS is the very mechanism in this, our computer era, that queries and updates databases. In addition, it also replicates the information in the database among servers.

DNS server converts human-readable web addresses into a computer-readable number. This readable number is also known as an IP address. Once a computer knows the IP location of a web domain name, it opens the website in the browser.

The main purpose of DNS Management Software is to keep all DNS servers — whether remote or local — functioning manageably and efficiently. The computer software reduces human error in editing complex and repetitive text-based DNS server configuration files. Such files are often deployed on multiple physical servers.


The Products


Below are descriptions of several popular DNS hosted service products (Discussion of software will come in a future post.) DNS hosted service runs Domain Name System servers. But you should know that, in order to resolve (or translate into IP addresses) domain names, your DNS hardware also needs to be equipped with the right DNS software. DNS software hosted on DNS hardware will actually resolve domain names, translating domain names to their respective IP addresses and vice-versa.

In other words, in order to keep a website floating and keep its domain name live, the machine which is to host the files for the site must have a DNS software running. You just can’t do without it.


Hosted DNS Service Providers:


OpenDNS is one of the leading hosted DNS service providers. It offers integrated Web content filtering and anti-phishing features — handy in these days of increasingly sophisticated Internet thievery. It is accessible from any host, regardless of the network IP address used to send the request. It provides reliable, globally-distributed network and Web content filtering. In addition, it also offers a free DNS recursive service.

OpenDNS is easy to use for families, schools and businesses of all sizes. OpenDNS Deluxe version is available in the market for families and small and medium sized business at $5 per user per year for small and mid-sized companies and $9.95 per year for households. Using OpenDNS, Internet users and administrators protect their networks from online threats and they also reduce cost by not having to purchase and install filtering software.


OpenDNS Benefits:

Improves web navigation response time; its extremely large cache, allows it to serve a large number of requests satisfactorily.
Anti-phishing protection; OpenDNS has a database containing an accurate list of sites used for Phishing. It protects Internet users by blocking IP address resolution and its display.
Hostname spell checking: When entering unexisting URL, OpenDNS attempts to interpret the user’s request and corrects it before responding with its web search page.
Blocks adult websites, protecting underage consumers.
Improves performance by eliminating the extra traffic burden placed on DNS servers.
Power users can assign abbreviations or OpenDNS Shortcuts to access their favourite websites more quickly.


Pros of OpenDNS:

Faster Internet surfing
Offers higher control of browsing security than other DNS products
Easy setup
Open to users all over the world from various ISPs


Google Public DNS

Google Public DNS is open but it is a hosted DNS service developed by the company. A security feature of the recursive DNS resolver helps in preventing DNS cache poisoning and denial-of-service attacks against DNS resolvers.

Here are some pros and cons of the Google Public DNS:

Helps in reducing the load on ISPs’ DNS servers. Featured with global data-center and caching infrastructure, it directly serves large numbers of user requests without having to query other DNS resolvers.That’s a good thing!
Makes the Web faster and more secure! Improves the surfing experience of Internet users, too.
Returns the correct answer to every query every time, in accordance with the DNS standards.
Reduces the risk of DNS-based DoS attacks, and that eliminates a huge amount of traffic burden that is placed on DNS servers.



No content-filtering, anti-phishing or anti-malware protection provided.

Constant Google experiments slows Web speed or reduces security.

Google cannot see HTTP connections (which is good), but by doing all DNS lookups through them, a user may expose browsing habits to another external entity. That reduces users’ privacy and control over their information.


DNS Advantage

DNS Advantage offers a free and closed-source DNS resolution service. Through UltraDNS’s proprietary Directory Services Platform, DNS Advantage, the hosted service resolves DNS requests. It offers free recursive DNS services. In addition to DNS resolution service, it also blocks malicious websites.

Check out these pros and cons of DNS Advantage:


Supports A Records, MX Records, CName Records, Text (TXT) Records for publishing SPF or DomainKey data, Service (SRV) Records and Start of Authority (SOA) Records.
Supports customizing the Time-To-Live (TTL) for DNS records
Tracks the Date-Last-Modified information on DNS records
Allows secondary DNS users to apply up to five of their own nameservers for up to 100 host names
Servers even at geographically diverse, modern data centers ensures continuous service



Doesn’t include Web filtering
Doesn’t block access to unauthorized sites


Norton DNS

Norton DNS is a DNS service hosted by Symantec. It makes the Internet faster, safer and more reliable. The DNS server protects Internet users from malicious websites.

These benefits of Norton DNS make it popular among Internet Users:

Blocks unsafe and infected sites
Blocks phishing websites that cybercriminals operate to steal users identity and money
Offers an inclusive overview of threats found on each site
Lets users block over 45 different categories of content


When shopping for DNS hardware, choose carefully. You want users to have a smooth trouble-free experience when they’re on your site. After all, that’s when they’ll keep coming back and make your business a success.

Another thing you can do to ensure your good fortune with customers: employ monitoring of your websites.


Monitis’ website monitoring service checks your DNS and web servers from worldwide locations and alerts you instantly via email, SMS, voice call or instant messengers when they become unavailable or slow.

Stay tuned for our next related blog post on DNS Software!

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